Lately I’ve taken to venting my frustration with the IRS’s low level of telephone service with these posts that document the details. Today’s adventure was to make a telephone call that I hoped would be the final call after five long calls to resolve a delinquent tax and set up a payment plan. We had previously discussed all the financial details and I thought that we had narrowed the scope of discussion to verification of one piece of data. That’s not how it worked out.
A 57:33 phone call that included 25:03 waiting for a fax to be transmitted on the call. After discussion the agent put me on hold to discuss the case with her supervisor. While on hold, the phone line went dead at 57:33 minutes.
My call back put me on hold for 22 minutes. When the agent picked up he was on speakerphone. I asked for a minute to connect my headset. While I was plugging in the headset he hung up.
My third call went for 59 minutes that again included the same fax that still wasn’t recorded with the case file. This time the agent asked questions that were beyond the scope of the issue I thought was unresolved. I did not have this additional information. I said I would call the taxpayer tonight and start the process all over again with IRS tomorrow. Just then the client texted me with information.
A 4th call went for 22 minutes. The taxpayer sent information by text right after I hung up. It turned out the financial information I had already sent to the IRS was correct and so I just had to verify it. I didn’t realize I had it until after I hung up.
The fifth call included another fax. It was a document I sent earlier but was not on file. The agent was unwilling to wait the 25 minutes that the previous 3 faxes had taken to transmit today. Another tense moment. I had to call back after that agent hung up on me. Altogether the last two calls took 107 minutes. Finally the last agent hung up on me because it was past their office closing time.
Altogether this work today added about 4 hours onto a case that had already been above 6 hours on the phone.
But here is the part that makes it all worthwhile: we settled an $84,000 tax debt for a payment of $125 per month. One more call tomorrow and the case should be closed!