Each IRS Phone Call Costs Taxpayers $42.33

And there are about 100,000,000 phone calls per year. Yikes.

To the American public, the Internal Revenue Service is probably the most hated & most feared federal government agency. Both the TSA and DMV might argue otherwise, but my money's on the tax man. Simply nobody is comfortable with the idea of IRS agents sneaking into your bank account to vacuum your hard-earned dollars which, through the tax levy process, they actually do from time-to-time.

Yet I find most of this loathing and fear to be misplaced. In large part, IRS employees are government servants doing their best to apply the tax law in a fair and consistent manner. Most of the anger and frustration that people direct at Internal Revenue is probably misplaced, when it should be directed at the lethargic authors of our arcane tax law (Congress). Yet the political system is designed to make reform nearly impossible. Meanwhile, the same Congress continues to make budget cuts at Internal Revenue and nearly all government agencies, making it more and more difficult for the service to do it's job.

Not to say that the IRS is efficient (very few government agencies are). According to a report authored by the National Taxpayer Advocate, it costs taxpayer about $42.33 per phone call into the center, with an average wait time of about 19 minutes.

I know this personally because I consider it my professional obligation to get between my clients and the IRS, thus many, many hours of my life have been spent on hold waiting to speak with an agent. Rest assured, in the interest of all of us taxpayers, I don't do this unless I have to!

The report estimates that the IRS will only be able to handle 43% of upcoming calls during the 2014 tax season - less than half of those seeking answers will get help.

The increasing wait times, soaring frustration, and increasing educational requirements are one of the primary reasons you should consider hiring a professional tax preparer (like us) to assist you while filing. It's particularly important to get it right the first time around now that correcting any error or mistake has increased significantly in terms of time and patience. No firm is 100% mistake free, but unlike many companies, we are here year-round to stand behind our work.