Major New Issues With The IRS

Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

( – The IRS telephone service has fallen behind as the employees are not answering calls according to the official metrics. The metrics also suggest that the employees are spending millions of working hours each year only waiting for phone calls according to the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA).

In October, the IRS told Congress that their telephone line had a 75 percent “level of service.” However, despite these claims, the NTA noted that only 29 percent of taxpayer phone calls had been answered over the year. In the 2023 filing season that number had been up to 35 percent of calls. It was during that time that the IRS had claimed that their “level of service” was at 85 percent.

The “levels of service” is an internal metric that does not include all those calls made by people who are rerouted to an automated answering system or who drop the phone call before anyone can assist them with their issues.

The NTA report noted that the IRS telephone assistance spent around 1.27 million hours during the filing season just waiting for phone calls. This amounts to around 34 percent of the time that IRS employees are assigned to answering phone calls. This would also amount to over 650 unproductive staff years.

The NTA points out that the reason for this wasted time is in part the outdated technology used by the IRS which blocks employees from easily switching between processing tax returns and answering phone calls.

Still, while there are operational inefficiencies there has been a significant improvement in the level of service when compared to last year.

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