Last year, the government went through a partial government shutdown and sequester. Both of these actions significantly interrupted operations for federal agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
This tax season, the IRS expects to receive a similar or larger amount of calls from taxpayers, but may not be able to respond to them as quickly, according to the Associated Press. IRS staff members are working with a smaller, $11.29 billion budget, which could leave millions of people waiting on the phone.
In previous years, the average wait time was 13 minutes, but this year is expected to reach anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes. Despite the higher wait time, this idle time is shorter than the 90 minute wait at walk-in taxpayer assistance centers, CNN Money reported. The IRS may want to look into utilizing an on hold messaging system to provide information on this year’s most frequent questions.
“Millions of taxpayers are finding unacceptably long wait times on the phone and at our taxpayer assistance centers to get basic questions answered,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen explained at a House panel earlier this month on the federal budget.
This time-sensitive situation could significantly change how taxpayers process some of their deductions and claims. The IRS predicts that 18 million Americans have attempted to reach out to the agency in recent weeks. One of the more frequent requests has to do with rules around the Affordable Care Act, as well as foreign companies reporting about offshore investments.
“We think it’s unfair to our taxpayers not to provide them with the level of service we all think they deserve,” Koskinen added.
This issue can happen in any office, but it is becoming more of the norm in dental and doctor offices, especially with the rise of insured Americans. Practicioners who wish to make a strong impression with their patients can benefit from a custom on hold messaging service.