Let’s face it- the IRS is broken.  Decades of budget cuts and over a year of pandemic confusion have made dealing with the Internal Revenue Service harder than ever.  Consider:

  • Only about 9% of people who call the IRS can get through to a live agent. Wait times of 2 to 4 or more hours are not uncommon.
  • Even tax pros have trouble getting through, and it’s gotten so bad that a new company, EnQ, has started spamming the IRS phone lines and charging tax pros $100 a month for “preferred access.”
  • IRS phone centers are now being used to help FEMA and other agencies with national emergencies.
  • Millions of 2020 returns have been delayed in processing because not enough IRS personnel are available to review them.
  • Congress keeps passing more laws that tie up the IRS with new regulations and implementation- things like the advanced child tax credit, economic stimulus payments, or employee retention credits, while not providing the resources to support these new programs.

How are tax professionals supposed to deal with this dysfunction?  For starters, don’t take it out on the people at the IRS who are stuck in this bad predicament.  Surviving the next tax season will take smarts, patience, and perseverance.

Smarts means knowing the best ways to get the vital information from IRS.  Tax notices, though sometimes wrong or confusing, are a good start in getting to the heart of the issue.  Online tax pro accounts and/or transcript requests using form 2848 or 8821 are ways to get around the long phone lines.  And knowing when the best times are to call the practitioner priority line for the hardest cases is a must.

Patience is important in dialing down the stress levels for clients and tax pros alike.  IRS letters and notices produce unnecessary panic and worry.  Reassure your clients while you calmly deal with the issues at hand and explain the process ahead, with realistic expectations of what could happen next. 

Perseverance is the key, as the most difficult and complex problems will require repeated contacts and continuous monitoring, sometimes over multiple years.  Keep good records and have a system in place to monitor client and IRS communications, so that an action and response timeline can be established.

 Luckily for tax pros, NOTICENINJA SaaS will digitize your document management, automate data entry, generate instant best of practice workflows based on notice types, request transcripts, generate letters to communicate with the agency, and provide a system that will easily track all communications, duplicate and sequential notices, as well as assist with research, while building out a knowledge base for you and your team to use. NOTICENINJA CRM for Notice Compliance will modernize your tax notice management. Schedule a Demo today! 

By Dan Connors

Edited by Notice Ninja, Inc.