AccountingToday posted an article last month by Roger Russell explaining what it's like to work at the Internal Revenue Service currently. Like most places, the IRS is short staffed and are struggling to keep up with the volume of returns yet to be processed and to handle the many phone calls for assistance.
Stephen Mankowski, tax chair of the National Conference of CPA Practitioners attended a IRS meeting for stakeholders. He then stated, "The National Taxpayer Advocate reported they are working to remedy this in multiple ways. The level of service is at its lowest historically, with more calls coming in daily than ever."
He continued on to mention that the automatic callback program has proven successful, but still leaves the callers in the queue limited to the number of employees available. Just like anywhere, hiring and training takes time, and right now the IRS doesn't have the money or the resources to do so.
"It's more than just not having the money to hire personnel, it takes 12 to 18 weeks to train someone to answer and assist callers. They have to understand the systems, and be able to understand and interpret what's going on," he states.
The late December 2020 changes affected the 2021 filing season, he noted. "The reconciliation of the Economic Impact Payments is anticipated to be fixed within the computer system shortly, and they are hoping for the same with the Child Tax Credits. The IRS is looking to send out notices to taxpayers verifying their child tax payments, and the data is expected to also be available on the IRS portal."
Mankowski spoke on behalf of National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins and said that she is empathetic and truly understands their pain. She is currently dealing with a lot of calls from practitioners and taxpayers trying to get resolution on issues.
For more information:
You can visit the IRS website at Internal Revenue Service | An official website of the United States government (irs.gov).