“The IRS’ overloaded phone system hung up on more than 8 million taxpayers this filing season as the agency cut millions of dollars from taxpayer services to help pay to enforce President Obama’s health law,” read the first sentence of the recent Associated Press report.
It went on to state that only 40% of those that weren’t disconnected ever got through to a person. And many of those people waited on hold for over half an hour. This reduction of taxpayer services, of course, came at exactly the same time that taxpayers were being broad-sided by new requirements under the health law, resulting in many questions that went unanswered.
A new House Ways and Means Committee report claims the IRS diverted $134 million in user fees that had been spent on customer service last year to other areas this year. Predictably, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen blamed budget cuts for the problem. The IRS has already spent over $1.2 billion implementing the health care law, with another $533 million scheduled to be spent this year.
Last year, 39.9 million people called the IRS with questions about their tax returns. According to the article, when too many people call at the same time, the IRS phone system hangs up on callers at the beginning of their calls, rather than making them wait on hold for an hour or more. That’s the IRS for you, so polite and service oriented!
In keeping with leftist’s love of calling things exactly what they aren’t, the agency actually refers to these hang-ups as “courtesy disconnects.”
And remember folks, “Arbeit Machs Du Frei!!”
Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., said Congress did not cut funding for taxpayer services. He claimed that decision was made by the agency.
“The amount of money Congress appropriated to the IRS for taxpayer assistance was the same this year as last year, but the level of service has decreased drastically,” he said. “So, what happened? The IRS made the decision to move money away from taxpayer assistance.”
Roskam and other Republicans complained that the agency spent $60 million on employee bonuses last year while it was cutting customer service. The IRS also allows employees to spend almost 500,000 hours a year “working” on union activities while getting paid by the agency.
Commissioner Koskinen defended the bonuses and claimed federal law requires the IRS to allow workers to engage in union activities while being paid.
Those selfless civil servants! When they’re not doing agency work targeting grass roots Conservative organizations they disagree with, they are working for their union…to advance their cause at the expense of taxpayers.
Welcome to the new America, where the citizens are forced to pay their “public servants” to actively work against their interests.