Government Accountability Office Audit Reveals IRS Service Bad — And Getting Worse

photo credit: 401(k)2013

Fewer taxpayers are getting through on the Internal Revenue Service hotline, their wait times for help has surged to 17 minutes, and 40 percent of those who write in questions wait over 45 days for an answer, a deterioration of taxpayer service that is just getting worse, according to a new government audit.

It’s not much better for professional tax preparers seeking help, according to a new Government Accountability Office report on IRS taxpayer operations. The GAO found that just 73 percent of tax preparers who needed assistance from a live IRS official got through on the phone and their wait was an average of 22 minutes–19 minutes more than the wait in 2007.

And unfortunately for taxpayers, help is not on the way. The GAO found that the IRS doesn’t have a plan that can fix the service breakdowns fast enough and Congress isn’t expected to help out with more money.

The “IRS does not have a strategy to reverse declines in service,” said Uncle Sam’s auditor. “The federal government’s tight budget environment makes any meaningful increase in resources for taxpayer service unlikely,” it added.

There is good news, however, in their annual report.

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