Photo: Flickr / blatch
Do not even bother calling the IRS about your tax return this year if you’re hoping to speak to a sentient being.According to a just-released report from the GAO, you now have a two in five chance of getting a busy signal or an automated response.
In the first half of tax filing season (Jan. 1 through mid-Feb.) the IRS received 46 million calls — destroying last year’s record of 34.2 million and more than double 2008’s total of 20.5 million.
Meanwhile, the IRS’ budget for FY 2012 was cut 2.5%, and the agency is laying off 900 support positions.
You may want to avoid the IRS’ Modernized E-file system, which will soon be the only way you’ll be able to file electronically.
The report says the system malfunctioned in early February and was repaired a week and a half later. The system’s instability means the “IRS risks not being able to timely and reliably process tax returns,” the report concluded.
We actually sympathize with the monumental task the IRS faces each year, processing returns in a country founded on resisting taxes.
So we wish them the best of luck, but hope they get their act together.