On July 15, the national taxpayer advocate, Nina Olson, submitted the fiscal year 2016 objectives report to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance. As national taxpayer advocate, Ms. Olson works to help taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and to protect taxpayer’s rights when dealing with the IRS. She has the responsibility of making congress aware of recurring problems that taxpayers face when trying to resolve issues. Part of her job involves presenting two annual reports to congress that propose administrative and legislative changes within the IRS.
The July 15 report highlights IRS challenges during the 2015 filing season, when taxpayers were submitting federal income tax returns for calendar year 2014. One of those challenges was IRS performance in responding to taxpayer telephone calls. Here’s a sample statistic: This year the number of “courtesy disconnects” rose by more than 1500% over last year (not a typo). A courtesy disconnect is when the IRS switchboard gets overloaded and the system hangs up on callers. That happened to about 8.8 million callers this year.
How familiar are you with other aspects of the 2015 filing season? Here’s a quiz.
Since 2008, the IRS has received how many telephone calls from taxpayers in every year?
In 2015, the IRS answered 37% of calls routed to telephone assistors.
In 2004, the IRS answered 85% of calls routed to telephone assistors.
More than 98% of all tax revenue collected by the IRS is paid voluntarily and timely.
The IRS received the same appropriation for its Taxpayer Services account in fiscal year 2015 as it had received in 2014.
Between January 1, 2016 and April 18, 2016, the IRS “Accounts Management” telephone lines received about 50 million taxpayer telephone calls.