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Copied from Accounting Today:

"You hear from taxpayers and congressional offices all the time, but my understanding is that there have been days where if you calculated by looking at the number of calls that were answered and divide it by the number of calls that came in, the level of service was 2 to 3 percent,” said Nina Olson, executive director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights and the former National Taxpayer Advocate, during a webinar last week hosted by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “Even by the IRS’s own calculation, where it does the number of calls that are answered, divided by the number of calls that aren’t routed automatically, it’s at 15 percent. With all the attention on enforcement, you can’t have that level of customer service and think that in any way, you’re having a successful filing season."

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They need to implement several different phone numbers so all the people calling about when they'll get their refund can tie up the main number, but those with actual tax or account problems can call different numbers.

Just like with software support, there are those that call at the drop of a hat about things that could be better handled by email and people who actually need immediate support are left to wait on hold.

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1 hour ago, Abby Normal said:

They need to implement several different phone numbers so all the people calling about when they'll get their refund can tie up the main number, but those with actual tax or account problems can call different numbers.

Just like with software support, there are those that call at the drop of a hat about things that could be better handled by email and people who actually need immediate support are left to wait on hold.

They do have different phone numbers already. I read posts all the time about EAs calling PPS to ask about their client's stimulus payments. This is one reason why EAs with real problems can't get through.

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On 4/27/2021 at 2:51 PM, HV Ken said:

They do have different phone numbers already. I read posts all the time about EAs calling PPS to ask about their client's stimulus payments. This is one reason why EAs with real problems can't get through.

There is a new PPS number that goes directly to the ACS unit people.  Just learned about it today.  800-829-7650.

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On 4/29/2021 at 5:38 PM, Catherine said:

There is a new PPS number that goes directly to the ACS unit people.  Just learned about it today.  800-829-7650.

That's the collection number for individuals. The one for businesses is 800-829-3903. I've used both for years and they're right on the notices taxpayers receive. Although in my Contacts I have the 3903 for individuals and the 7650 for small businesses. Hmmm.

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/federal-and-state-levy-programs

https://www.irsmind.com/irs-notices/irs-reopens-its-phone-lines-heres-the-frequent-numbers-and-hours/

 

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On 5/2/2021 at 10:50 AM, Abby Normal said:

they're right on the notices taxpayers receive

Then your people are getting different letters from the ones mine are getting.  I've gone over five-page letters with a fine-toothed comb and had my assistant look too, and there is no phone number to call.  Address for correspondence.  On rare occasion, a fax number.  But no phone.  Not in the past year or two.  

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22 minutes ago, Catherine said:

Then your people are getting different letters from the ones mine are getting.  I've gone over five-page letters with a fine-toothed comb and had my assistant look too, and there is no phone number to call.  Address for correspondence.  On rare occasion, a fax number.  But no phone.  Not in the past year or two.  

Well I haven't seen one in awhile (yay!), so either I'm misremembering or they've changed. But in either case, an IRS notice without a number to call is absurd... unless they're trying to reduce the number of calls they receive, and who can blame them.

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I had one recently where I couldn't find a number to call. That might have been for form 3520 though... which they don't have a unit or competent agent to address correspondence on.

I saw where the IRS is trying to hire appraisers to help audit conservation easements... I also saw where they are trying to hire cryptocurrency specialists since they've been contracting that work out.

To say they are failing at "customer service" would be an understatement! I'm not really sure what the point of the phone lines are other than the EA and CPA lines, since they can't offer tax advice anyway. Just have a collections line if that's the case. Government 😤

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3 hours ago, Matthew in the PNW said:

To say they are failing at "customer service" would be an understatement!

I had one guy send in documentation and PAYMENT on a CP2000, well before deadline.  They cashed his check and then sent a 90-day letter!  So he has a tax court petition ready to mail in time for the deadline, and we're waiting to see if they deign to respond to the documentation sent by ... something like the end of June.

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25 minutes ago, Catherine said:

I had one guy send in documentation and PAYMENT on a CP2000, well before deadline.  They cashed his check and then sent a 90-day letter!  So he has a tax court petition ready to mail in time for the deadline, and we're waiting to see if they deign to respond to the documentation sent by ... something like the end of June.

I had a client paper file (they wrote numbers in by hand 😱 ) in July 2020 and send payment with return. The IRS cashed the check and didn't process the return. By February 2021 I finally conceded to the clients wishes and drafted a new original paper-filed return to mail off. My other client with a 3520 issue (and $24k penalty) is getting the nasty grams from the IRS but there's nobody to call and no one to process, so that will be a total nightmare for months I'm sure.

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On 4/29/2021 at 2:38 PM, Catherine said:

There is a new PPS number that goes directly to the ACS unit people.  Just learned about it today.  800-829-7650.

That is not a new number.  It has been the collections number for non-business collections for at least 20 years.  

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