See if this makes sense to you, because it sure as heck doesn’t to me. Every year, the Internal Revenue Service makes its tax code even more complicated than it was the year before. But instead of offering more help to people confused by the code and its many annual changes, the IRS offers less help. In fact, the agency leaves millions of questions unanswered from Americans who are doing nothing more than trying to understand the code so that they can abide by it.
That’s the situation in which we currently find ourselves. A watchdog report to Congress found that 39 percent of the people seeking to speak with an IRS customer service representative were not able to get through by phone last year, which left nearly 20 million phone calls unanswered. That’s about four out of every 10 people! And even those who are fortunate enough to get through after an average wait time of 18 minutes won’t have their questions answered unless the questions are “basic.”
As National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said, “It is a sad state of affairs when the government writes tax laws as complex as ours and then is unable to answer any questions beyond ‘basic’ ones from baffled citizens who are doing their best to comply.”
And for those who think that writing a letter to the IRS might bring a better result than making a phone call, think again. In 2013, the IRS received 8.4 million letters with questions, but answered fewer than one-half of them.
In explanation for falling down on the job, IRS officials say that they have fewer employees now due to budget cuts, and that those cuts have also significantly limited the amount of training that their agents receive.
Isn’t it funny, though, that while the IRS doesn’t have enough manpower to do what it’s supposed to be doing, it does have enough manpower to do what it’s not supposed to be doing – targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny when it comes to filing for tax-exempt status.
The FBI recently declared that the IRS was guilty of no wrongdoing when it came to that scandal – following one of the most phony-baloney “investigations” I’ve ever seen – but we all know the truth. Obama’s IRS is far more interested in trying to make life miserable for people who disagree with Obama’s policies than it is in helping U.S. citizens properly file their tax returns.
Have you ever tried to get your tax questions answered by the IRS? What was your experience with that? Did you get a live voice on the phone or a reply to a letter? If so, were your questions answered to your satisfaction? I’d love to hear from you about this.