Andrea Price, TAP member representing Ohio
The Truth Contributor
The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel comprises civic-minded citizen volunteers from all walks of life representing each state, D.C., Puerto Rico, and an international member (citizens living, working, or doing business abroad). TAP is a Federal Advisory Committee whose mission is to listen to taxpayers, identify taxpayers’ issues, and make suggestions for improving the IRS service and customer satisfaction.
Everyone has something to say about taxes and the IRS. Please take a moment to give us your suggestions for TAP to consider by contacting one of the following:
TAP Ohio member: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Toll-free at:1-888-912-1227
Karen Michaels, Director of Accounts Management in the IRS’s Wage and Investment (W&I) Division, wrote an article in the IRS Closer Look on how the IRS is trying to serve taxpayers. CL-21-21, July 7, 2021
Since the pandemic began more than a year ago, the IRS has worked hard to provide quality service to taxpayers while actively responding to the impacts of the pandemic, including focusing on the safety and health of taxpayers and our employees. We continued to strongly encourage people to use existing electronic tools available on IRS.gov as much as possible. We keep building on the wealth of helpful resources to meet their needs, from frequently asked questions to online tools. We’ve also continued to provide face-to-face tax assistance by appointment, while also serving those who walk-in with hardships situations.
Another important way the IRS provides service to taxpayers is through our toll-free telephone lines. Did you know that the IRS has one of the world’s largest customer service phone operations? We have over 13,000 Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) – including almost 3,000 seasonal employees who work mainly during the filing season – at 24 locations in all mainland time zones plus Puerto Rico. We provide telephone service from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. staggered nationally according to time zones. NOTE: The time zone is based on the telephone area code of the phone you use to call the IRS and not from the area code where you may live.
We have always been proud to serve individuals, businesses, tax professionals, and tax-exempt entities. We have specialty lines for the hearing impaired, identity theft, the taxpayer protection program, and appointment services at our Taxpayer Assistance Centers. And we offer over-the-phone translation services in 350 languages. During disasters, such as February’s extreme weather in Texas, our phone staff also proudly assists the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in answering urgent calls from disaster victims.
If people want to talk to an IRS employee to get the help they need, we want to answer the phone to provide that assistance. And believe it or not, we’ve responded to more calls this year than at the same time last year. However, like everyone else, there was no way we could prepare to respond to the dramatic increase in the number of people that would call us for help.
We understand that complex tax issues and the pandemic have many taxpayers confused and looking for help. We are committed to providing the service they need to help them – on the phone or through whatever channel they prefer – and we will utilize all allocated funding to improve taxpayer communications with our agency.
Meanwhile, we will continue trying our best within our current constraints, and we are working through this. We could also use your help. If you’re looking for a new career or job opportunity or know someone who is, please consider a CSR position or other positions at the IRS. Check us out on LinkedIn or USAJobs.gov.