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Meadows, Collier, Reed, Cousins, Crouch & Ungerman, L.L.P.

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Thinking of Calling the IRS? Good Luck.

By Michael A. Villa, Jr. on June 27, 2022
The National Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) recently issued its annual report to Congress. One of the more troubling findings in the report was that during the 2022 filing season, the IRS received 73 million calls and only 7.5 million of those calls were answered by an IRS employee. Another interesting side note was that in 2021, the IRS received 167 million calls and only 9% of those calls were answered by an IRS employee. It seems the IRS received 56% fewer calls in 2022, but still could not increase the percentage of calls that reach an actual employee. This means that regardless of the number of calls the IRS receives, they seem unable to have an IRS employee answer more than 10% of the calls. This begs the question - how should a Taxpayer communicate with the IRS?

If a taxpayer has an issue to resolve, but cannot get an IRS employee to answer the call, what should a taxpayer do to counter the inability to orally communicate with the IRS? A simple answer is correspond in writing, keep proof of your correspondence, and send all correspondence certified mail return receipt requested. Maintaining a proper record of your attempts to communicate with the IRS may be crucial to fixing your IRS issue or correcting your taxpayer account. For example, assume the IRS has sent you a notice which you believe contains a clear error. As discussed above, your call to the IRS is likely to go unanswered. You might also send a response in writing. However, the TAS has noted the IRS is struggling to process written communications and responses. One of the problems with this inability of the IRS to process written communications is that the IRS might automatically make an adjustment based on the first notice you received. A proper record demonstrating you replied and proof that it was delivered (i.e. the return receipt signed by the IRS) may be very helpful when you later attempt to overturn the IRS’s erroneous adjustment. More information on the TAS report to Congress can be found here.