IRS continues to fail their boss, the taxpayers.

In an admission that would literally surprise no one, the recently released IRS inspector general report finds an issue with the agency’s customer service.[1]  Specifically, “IRS employees ignored more than 30 million phone calls from desperate taxpayers seeking help in the run-up to the 2015 filing deadline.” To put that into perspective that is about 62% of calls in 2015 that went unanswered, per the Washington Times’ calculations.  This is down from 39% in 2013, and 36% in 2014. To be fair, the IRS thought that, ‘’answering written correspondence was more important than answering phones.” The IRS, for its part, blames its ineptitude on a hostile Congress and budget cuts.  While blaming Congress is certainly a crowd favorite, it would take an exceptionally short memory to forget what caused the rift in that storied love affair.  It wasn’t that long ago that the IRS was embroiled in a petty and partisan scandal involving the singling out of conservative non-profit applications[2], and the IRS chief stood in front of a congressional investigative committee thumbing her nose.[3]  Note: If you want budget cuts, that’s how you get budget cuts.   Planning, however, is not a strong suit for an agency that apparently only hires people that can read emails OR answer phone calls.

That said, the IRS mumbled that it did in fact have funds for customer service, but that it chose to allocate those funds to other operations. What was important enough to sacrifice budgetary line items like customer service?  Those ever important IRS duties like “enforcing the tax penalties in the Affordable Care Act, extending a health coverage tax credit and seeing through new laws on foreign income tax compliance.”[4]

The ACA strikes again. President Obama famously, and incorrectly, said that if we like our health plan we can keep our health plan[5]. If only he had given the same ham-handed inverse support to this beloved American institution.


—  Derek A. Jordan, Esq., Barnes Law

Derek A. Jordan is an associate attorney with Barnes Law, licensed to practice law and land surveying in Tennessee.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.


[1] See:

[2] See:

[3] See:

[4] See Washington Times, supra.

[5] See: