IRS Cannot Take Your Call: Tax Season 2015

Posted on Mar 27, 2015 in Tax Season, Taxes | Comments Off on IRS Cannot Take Your Call: Tax Season 2015

IRS Cannot Take Your Call

Earlier this year we posted a warning about the bad tax season to come (see “Warning: Miserable 2015 Tax Season is Here”) about how busy the IRS was forecasted to be and how they’d likely only be answering 50% of call. I think that 50% may have been a little too generous. Read on to see what percentage of my calls they’ve answered this tax season.irs tax season 2015

Well, first I’ll introduce myself. I’m Bree, a behind the scenes employee at GQ Law. I worked in the office years ago and now work remotely. I actually live in the Chicago area, Northwest Indiana to be exact. I do a lot of writing for this blog and other location independent jobs like helping with screening applicants for hiring, tweaking things on the website, etc.

I filed my taxes March 3rd using TurboTax’s online program and received my federal refund via direct deposit on March 19th. My response: I was impressed with the quick turnaround time, less than 10 business days. That was good. I was UNIMPRESSED with the amount. It was not the amount we had calculated in our return. It was less.

I didn’t know what to do so I waited. March 25th I received a letter from the IRS that said there was a miscalculation in our return. It hardly made any sense. The side by side comparison of “Your Numbers” and “IRS Numbers” that was supposed to show me the miscalculation listed the exact same numbers on those certain, supposedly mistaken, lines.

Since I knew that TurboTax had done my math and had a guarantee, I called them first. A TurboTax accountant when backward and forward, over and over and over our return for over an hour and could not find any errors. The accountant gave me the worst news of all…she suggested I call the IRS. After all, it was over $400 that was deducted from my return for the mysterious “miscalculation” and she said that sometimes the IRS does make mistakes themselves.

I geared up to call the IRS, expecting to wait on hold a few hours, talk to a grumpy, over worked and underpaid employee, etc. I even did a google search to look for tips for calling, various articles suggested avoiding Mondays and Fridays and the first hour they are open in each timezone. I decided to call first thing Tuesday morning. Since the IRS notice said they are open 7am-7pm in each timezone. I called at 8am Central time (my time) and got a message saying the office was closed. My husband suggested that since I have a San Diego cell phone number I may have to call during Pacitfic time hours. I tried my Google Voice number, an Arizona number, currently on Mountain Time hoping to get through that way, it wouldn’t work! It said the call would not be completed, probably due to the semi-strange way Google Voice calls are made and routed through Google and who knows what else. Whatever it is, it isn’t IRS friendly.

When I called again at 9am central time (7am Pacific) I go through! I answered a bunch of prompts, got through the menus and then got the following message “We’re sorry. Due to an extremely high volume of calls in this category, we are unable to answer your call at this time. Please call again later or on our next business day.”

That was it! No 2 hour hold no CHANCE to play the waiting game to talk to someone. Just a nope, go away, we can’t help you. I tried again later. And over, and over again. Same thing throughout the day Wednesday, same thing each and every time. Friday morning, same story.

With a name like the “Internal Revenue Service” you’d hope they would at least give you that chance to wait to be served. Looks like they just threw in the towel, took the phones off the hook and said “No budget, no representatives, no help to tax payers. No we can’t take your call.”