The Internal Revenue Service’s $10.9 billion annual budget is so puny that it’s ignoring 60 per cent of phone calls from people who are working on their tax return who have questions in advance of the April 15 filing deadline.
John Koskinen, the agency’s commissioner, said Tuesday during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that $346 million in budget cuts this year has caused a noticeable negative impact on taxpayer service.’
‘This year we were forced to substantially reduce hiring of extra seasonal help we usually bring in during the filing season,’ Koskinen said. ‘As a result, the phone level of service is now below 40 per cent.’
‘That means that six out of every 10 people who call can’t reach a customer service representative,’ said Koskinen.
‘This truly is an abysmal level of service.’
Koskinen wasn’t ceding new ground in Americans’ hate-hate relationship with the IRS. He was arguing that Congress should give his agency more money.
‘We are aware of taxpayers lining up outside some of our offices many hours before they open,’ he said.
‘You would think, in fact, we must be selling something like the Apple watch when you look at the lines. This is not a new story this year; it’s just gotten worse.’
Overall, Koskinen complained, ‘the IRS is now the lowest level of funding since 2008,’ resulting in ‘fewer audits and collection cases’ and costing the U.S. Treasury at least $2 billion in revenue.
Read more: dailymail.co.uk