Figure out your taxes is just the beginning of the nightmare. Try to reach a human being at the Internal Revenue Service to resolve a tax dispute can be a big headache. If you’re stuck in this IRA bureaucratic mess, consider getting in touch with the IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service.
The IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service, which operates independently within the agency, gets high marks from accountants, lawyers, and tax specialists for its effectiveness at cutting through red tape. You may be eligible for help if your IRS problem is causing financial hardship, or if you believe an IRS procedure isn’t function properly. The most common problem is tax-related identity theft, which can tie up refunds for months.
Phone Numbers to Reach a Live Person at IRS
You can call the toll-free number to find out if Taxpayer Advocate Service can help you: 1-877-777-4778. Make sure you have your social security number ready before you call.
Alternatively, you can also call 1-800-829-1040 to talk to a live person at the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has reserved this special 1040 number, in the name of the famous Form 1040, to help taxpayers with tax issues. Be aware the waiting time might increase during the tax filing season.
Why Is It So Hard to Reach a Live Person at IRS?
Even though the Internal Revenue Service employs 84,000 government workers, the agency is overworked to collect more than $3 trillion in annual tax receipts every year. Due to the cut in funding, its budget for fiscal 2016 was even less than its budget in 1995 adjusting for inflation. The insufficient system and the budget cut are the main reasons why it is extremely hard for you to reach a live person at IRS.
Years of budget cuts have handicapped the IRS’s capacity to answer consumers’ phone call. Last year its telephone service fell to an all-time low, with just 38% of callers able to get though and an average wait time of more than half an hour. Now you know the real culprit when you can’t reach a live person at IRS.
Why Doesn't IRS Upgraded Its Old Technology into the Internet Age?
You would think that, with its $11.2 billion budget, the IRS should spend some money on information technology to improve their inefficient system in this 21st century internet age. The IRS tried but failed miserably to make more online tools available to taxpayers.
The IRS’s recent disaster was an online feature called Get Transcript. The tool allowed taxpayers for the first time ever to download their records directly from IRS.gov. However, hackers have found ways while using Get Transcript to steal the personal information of 724,000 people. As a result, the IRS has to shut down Get Transcript program.
Additionally, another attack used 101,000 stolen Social Security numbers to fraudulently generate PINs for electronic filing of tax returns. Fortunately, no IRS data were exposed. The agency immediately disabled another online tool that taxpayers could retrieve a separate PIN they had been assigned for identity protection purposes.
Basically the IRS got attacked or at least probed over a million times a day. After all, the U.S. Treasury is the mother of all piggy banks. As you can see, there are immense technological challenges for IRS to upgrade their systems to better help taxpayers like you and me.