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Called the IRS lately? Agency struggles to hire customer service reps despite pandemic unemployment

Agency estimating level of service will be ‘significantly less than where we want to be,’ commissioner testifies

By Megan Henney


With tax season well underway, the IRS’ phone lines are already swamped.

Frustrated taxpayers are calling with questions about last year’s tax returns, tax refund, stimulus checks and tax credits, among other issues, but are having trouble getting through: National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins, the agency’s in-house watchdog, estimated recently that only about one out of 11 calls to the IRS was being answered.

One reason for the delays? The IRS is struggling to hire workers to man its phone lines.

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