Tuesday April 18, 2023 – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made headlines for its recent improvements in customer service during the 2023 tax filing season. Thjey tell us this is proof $80 billion funding boost from the Inflation Reduction Act was good government . However, there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
According to the U.S. Treasury, the IRS managed to provide live assistance to 87% of taxpayers’ phone calls and answered 2.4 million more calls during the 2023 tax filing season.
While this is an obvious improvement, the real reason behind it is not the Inflation Reduction Act. In fact, the IRS hired 5,000 new staff members to answer calls in June 2022 BEFORE the Act was passed, as part of the $1.5 trillion Omnibus spending bill from March 2022.
Looking at the numbers, the new IRS employees managed to answer only 480 calls each. Assuming that these calls were spread over the 13-week tax season, each new employee handled just 37 calls per week. This raises questions about the efficiency of the investment and whether there are better ways to improve the IRS’s customer service.
Republicans in the House have already tried to claw back the $80 billion in new IRS spending and may do so again in exchange for raising the $31.4 trillion U.S. debt ceiling.
The IRS’s approach to solving its customer service issues by throwing huge amounts of taxpayer money at the problem is not the answer.
Attorney Steven A. Leahy critiques IRS claims on Today’s Tax Talk.