Wednesday, February 1, 2023
HomeEconomyTreasury stresses IRS customer service as tax season kicks off

Treasury stresses IRS customer service as tax season kicks off

David Lauder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The IRS kicked off the 2023 income tax filing season with a 5,

on Monday. Prologue New Customer Service Representative, marking an early emphasis on improved filing and processing efficiencies of returns at launch by the U.S. Treasury $20 billion in new funding.

As part of the first phase of the follow-up, the new staff will help reduce phone wait times and reduce processing times for paper tax returns and documents, according to Treasury officials, later through enhanced monitoring of tax returns. Audit of tax returns to deter tax evasion.

With Republicans in Congress looking to cut tens of billions of dollars in IRS funding, changes to customer service are being implemented under President Joe Biden 2022, enacted in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told reporters that 5, new customer service Personnel will be fully trained 19 in February when taxpayer call volume typically increases.

He said the tax agency’s goal is to halve the average caller wait time to 10 minutes, and 80% of callers were connected to a live operator, up from 10% last year.

Other improvements include fully staffing the 87 IRS Taxpayer Service Center, tripling the number of Americans receiving personal tax help, and creating a new An online portal to allow taxpayers to upload documents instead of sending them by mail.

Although the tax agency has significantly reduced due to the COVID-10 pandemic, it still has about 370 as of December 2 million outstanding returns, more than triple its stated goal of reducing its order backlog to pre-pandemic levels. It is introducing new technology to more accurately scan millions of paper returns into digital documents that can be processed like electronic filings, Adeyemo said.

FUNDING FIGHT

These improvements come as the Treasury and IRS prepare to release a 15 Annual Spending Plan for $80 Six months after the IRA was enacted, the IRS provided billions of dollars in funding.

“The resources provided by the IRA will continue to support the agency’s years-long transformation,” Adeyemo said. “In just five months since the passage of the IRA, we have made meaningful progress in delivering the services American taxpayers deserve.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen In Africa told Reuters that the need for the tax agency to be “completely redone” and managing its overhaul was the main reason for her staying on.

But much of the money is earmarked to improve tax compliance and enforcement to close the tax gap—the difference between what is owed and what is paid—which the IRS estimates could Over $1 trillion because of evasion. Democrats passed the funding to reverse a more than decade-long IRS funding decline that has seen its staffing and auditing levels decline.

Some Republicans, emboldened by their party’s recent seizure of control of the U.S. House of Representatives, are seeking to cut IRS funding, which they claim will lead to hiring 87, 80’s “army” harassing middle class taxpayers and new “agents” of small businesses.

Most of the new hires will replace retiring employees and increase customer service and information technology staffing, but the claims have been rife on social media and in media statements. A recent report from the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Taxation stated that the IRS expects to hire approximately 3, additional tax agents over the next few years .

Yellen has told the IRS not to use additional resources to boost U.S. incomes below $400,400 Home’s Audit Rate per year.

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