The IRS announced that it hired 4,000 new customer service representatives to help with the next filing season. The goal is to add an additional 1,000 other customer service representatives by the end of the year.
Last tax season, the IRS customer service answered so few phone calls that a bipartisan group of lawmakers informed government officials to share that only 9% of the calls were being answered.
Treasury officials said the IRS currently has the same number of employees as it did in 1970. However, the country’s population has increased by 60% since then. The budget has decreased by 20% over the last decade. As a result of all of the cuts, IRS officials have said they were no longer equipped to provide adequate service to the American people.
The Treasury and IRS officials have said they want to end poor customer service. “We have been unable to provide the help that IRS employees want to give and that the nation’s taxpayers deserve,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a Thursday statement, “but help is on the way for taxpayers.”
The IRS received Direct-Hire Authority from the Office of Personnel Management to speed up the hiring process due to the critical shortage of customer service employees. Direct-Hire Authority speeds up hiring by eliminating rating and ranking, veterans’ preference, and other selection procedures.
The new employees will have weeks of training before tax season begins to help to improve the callers’ experience. Many employees will be sufficiently trained by the beginning of the next tax season. The later hires will join after their training has been completed in the following weeks. The IRS expects that a much higher level of phone calls will be answered in the next filing season. The new employees will be trained in many areas, including understanding and respecting taxpayer rights.
“The IRS is fully committed to providing the best service possible, and we are moving quickly to use new funding to help taxpayers during the busy tax season,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Our phone lines have been simply overwhelmed during the pandemic, and we have been unable to provide the help that IRS employees want to give and that the nation’s taxpayers deserve. But help is on the way for taxpayers. As the newly hired employees are trained and move online in 2023, we will have more assistors on the phone than any time in recent history.”
Rettig said. “Positions will be open across the country in coming weeks and months, and we encourage potential candidates to visit USAJOBS.gov to look for opportunities.”
David Zubler is a tax accountant and Enrolled Agent in East Tennessee, providing tax strategies and representing clients before the IRS, and has over 25 years of tax experience. He is the author of six tax books and has shared tax advice on national TV. He is the founder and president of Your Tax Care. The company provides business and tax education, including David’s one-minute tax tip radio recordings at YourTaxCare.com. David can be reached at (865) 363-3019 or contacted by email at email@example.com.