Watchdog Finds Horrible Treatment By IRS Toward Customers

( The Taxpayer Advocate Service, which is an independent watchdog for the Internal Revenue Service, just released its 2021 report to Congress and revealed how millions of American taxpayers had a “horrendous” experience when talking to the agency. The watchdog, which operates within the IRS to uphold good standards and ensure a good experience for taxpayers, said that people are experiencing the world telephone experience “ever” and extended refund delays.

The report acknowledged that 2021 was the “most challenging year taxpayers and tax professionals have ever experienced” with massive delays in refunds and problems relating to COVID-19 tax policies.

According to the watchdog, people had major difficulty contacting the IRS by phone, and correspondence about tax matters often went on for several months. Collection notices were also issued while taxpayers were waiting for their correspondence to be processed, and not enough information was provided on the “Where’s My Refund” tool on the government website.

The issues plaguing the IRS were ranked by the Taxpayer Advocate Service, with the most serious problems being “excessive processing and refund delays” closely followed by a “lack of sufficient and highly trained” employees at the IRS.

The report also showed that by the end of the 2021 filing season, the IRS had a huge backlog of 35 million returns, with millions of returns still unprocessed.

Is anybody really surprised to learn that the government messed this up? Anyone?

Incredibly, only 11% of the 282 million calls to the IRS in 2021 were answered – and those who were able to get through had an average wait time of 23 minutes.

So what can be done? Well, according to the TAS, Congress must allocate more funding for the IRS and also hand over some of the burden of managing tax refunds to other bodies.