The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) serves as a vital resource for taxpayers seeking guidance and clarity on tax matters. However, recent data sheds light on a concerning trend in the IRS’s phone response capacity. In 2021, a staggering 300 million calls were made to the IRS, marking a significant increase from the 100 million calls in 2019. Surprisingly, only a little over 11% of these calls were answered, a decline from the 30% answered in 2019. This stagnant call-answering capacity, despite the surge in call volume, has drawn criticism from the Tax Advocate Service (TAS), a quasi-watchdog organization, as well as Congress, the primary overseer of the IRS. The gap between call demand and response capacity underscores the urgent need for the IRS to enhance its communication channels and adapt to the evolving needs of taxpayers.

Bridging the Communication Gap: A Path Forward

Addressing this communication challenge requires a proactive approach. While the complexity of the issue is recognized, implementing innovative solutions is essential. The IRS can invest in technology to streamline call-handling processes, employ more representatives to address queries and develop a responsive system that meets taxpayers’ expectations. By doing so, the IRS can strengthen its role as a reliable and supportive partner for taxpayers, ensuring that the vital bridge of communication remains open and efficient.


Kelly Coughlin, CPA

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