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IRS Hires 4,000 Customer Service Agents for Tax Season

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Oct 31, 2022

The Internal Revenue Service is moving to address one of its longstanding shortcomings by hiring 4,000 customer service agents (CSRs) for the upcoming tax season.

The new hirings are part of the 10,000 new employees overall that the beleaguered tax collection agency plans to hire, bolstered by the $80 million allocated to it under the Inflation Reduction Act.

"The IRS is fully committed to providing the best service possible, and we are moving quickly to use new funding to help taxpayers during the busy tax season," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Our phone lines have been simply overwhelmed during the pandemic, and we have been unable to provide the help that IRS employees want to give and that the nation's taxpayers deserve. But help is on the way for taxpayers. As the newly hired employees are trained and move online in 2023, we will have more assistors on the phone than any time in recent history."

The IRS has been given direct-hire authority, which allows it to fill vacant positions quickly, sometimes immediately, CPA Practice Advisor reported. The agency plans to have all new employees complete their training by Presidents’ Day, Feb. 20, when telephone inquiries traditionally increase.

Long wait times for taxpayers, some of whom were not able to reach customer service representatives at all, have long been a problem for the IRS. These issues were noted in a letter from the chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, Jan F. Lewis, to the director of Customer Account Services in the IRS’s Wage & Investment Division last August.

National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins' midyear report to Congress noted that the IRS received 78 percent more calls by midyear 2022 than it did at the same time in 2019 and answered 10 percent of the calls this year, compared with 25 percent in 2019.

In addition to the CSRs, the IRS also plans to hire professionals in other areas, such as information technology and compliance.

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