HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's time for Howard's Illustrated Economics! Today - the IRS and its handling of phone calls.
The Internal Revenue Service is notorious for dropping phone calls. Now, let's be fair and say, right at the beginning, they aren't exactly the only ones.
The IRS has had its budget cut 17% in five years, but the figures on IRS customer service are pretty embarrassing.
Concerned about refund fraud, the IRS this year froze 1.6 million returns, twice as many as last year. You get a letter that says, call this number to confirm your identity. But what happens then?
According to an IRS official herself, four out of five callers never reach a human. Those who do, wait an average 28 minutes on hold. Many calls simply get dropped. Incredibly the IRS calls this "courtesy disconnects." 98% of IRS tax collections are made voluntarily. Stricter enforcement will be a hollow victory if it leads to less voluntary compliance because of anger over poor customer service.