Monday, January 3, 2011


Over the past few weeks I have kept notes on some of my contacts with the IRS, and I have questions. There are probably no answers to some of these questions. I would be interested in knowing what some of our readers have experienced.

Why Does Voice Mail Give You Only Eight Seconds to Leave a Message? In a recent call to an IRS number, the message was simple: “You have eight seconds to leave a message.” Obviously there was not enough time to even give my name and number, much less leave a message. I called back several times believing this was an error, but got the same message each time.

Why Do IRS Employees Not Provide an Alternate Number on Voice Mail? The voice mail recording provided by IRS employees on the majority of calls do not provide an alternate number or person to call.

Why When the IRS Calls Me Do I Have to Verify My Information? I do not understand why when the IRS calls a representative we have to go through a question and answer session about our CAF number, name, address, etc. It seems that this is a waste of everyone’s time.

Why When Talking to ACS and You Ask a Question Are You Placed on Hold? Many times when dealing with ACS on the phone we are placed on hold after asking a question. It seems like the IRS has to get approval before the question can be answered.

Why Do Representatives Receive So Many Forms and Notices? As a representative, when I receive notices from the IRS there are generally forms included. This seems like a waste of money. It would seem more efficient if the IRS would just refer to their website advising that the forms are available there. If the IRS is ceasing to send Form 1040, they should consider not including forms in letters to representatives.

Why Do Some Units of the IRS Not Understand Notices That Are Sent? Many times I have called the number on a notice or letter only to be told by the IRS person with whom I am speaking that they do not know what the letter means.

Why Does the IRS Not Give the Correct Number to Call on Its Notices? Recently I called the number on an IRS notice which reflected a large amount owed by the client. I was told by the first person I spoke with that their unit only handled cases up to $25,000. I was transferred to someone else who advised they also could not handle the case, and was again transferred to someone else.

Why Does the IRS Call at 9:00 p.m. and Leave a Message? Recently someone from the IRS left a message at my office at 9:00 p.m. and asked that the call be returned. Of course the call was not returned until the next day, at which time there was no one to speak with since I only got a voice mail recording.

Why are Calls to the IRS Not Returned? Many messages are left more than once before a call is returned. This is a good reason for all IRS voice mail recordings to have an alternate number to call.

Why Do We Not Get a Confirmation on CNC? Many collection cases are resolved over the phone with the IRS agreeing to classify the case as currently not collectible. However, the IRS is inconsistent as to whether they will send correspondence confirming a case has been classified as CNC.

Why Does ACS Refuse to Let Us Speak With a Manager? ACS refuses to let representatives speak with a manager. The response is they will have the manager call. The manager rarely or never calls. Mostly never.

Why Does the IRS Fail to Respond to Correspondence? Just like failure to respond to some phone calls, many letters written to the IRS do not receive a response. This requires additional time for the representative to resend the correspondence.

Why Can We Not Speak to IRS Employees Who Work From Home? I do not have a problem with IRS employees working from home. But if the IRS is going to allow this, there should be a phone number where the employee can actually be reached, rather than one at the IRS office.

Why Does the IRS Not Include the Enclosure it Refers to in Letters? We receive letters from the IRS that say a document is enclosed. However, in a number of cases nothing is enclosed. This causes phone calls to the IRS to determine what was supposed to be enclosed.

Why Do We Have to Wait So Long On the Phone? Calling the IRS can be frustrating in that in most cases we are on hold for a long period of time. The IRS should look at how American Express handles its incoming calls. There is rarely a wait.

Why Are Letters Dated After the Date We Receive Them? Often we receive a letter that is dated several days after it is received. Is there some reason the IRS cannot date a letter the date it is actually sent?

Why Do IRS Employees Not Read Letters Before They Are Sent? We have received letters from the IRS that make no sense. These are mostly form letters.

Why Does Appeals Not Have the Revenue Officer’s Files in a Collection Due Process Case? We are experiencing cases where the Revenue Officer’s files do not get to Appeals when a CDP request is made. This means that in most cases the financial information has to be recreated for Appeals.

Why When You Make a Call to the IRS and Are On Hold For a Long Time a Message Advises You to Call Back Later? It would be more efficient when calling the IRS if you were initially told to call later. We have experienced cases where after a long hold, we are finally told to call back later.

Why When Contacting the IRS Does it Feel Like Traveling the World - Philidelphia, Detroit, and New York? You may not get to take a real trip, but you do sometimes feel like you do when talking with the IRS. After being transferred to several different cities, there will finally be someone to talk with.

Why Does the IRS Not Use E-mail? I understand the concern of the IRS about security. However, I do not believe that e-mail is any less secure than a fax. Many times faxes are sent to a central fax machine where anyone can get the information. In this case, e-mail would be more secure.

The above is not intended to be critical of IRS personnel, but of the system. There are nice people in the IRS. Recently, after two hours of trying to speak with someone about a tax matter, I spoke to one of the nicest women I have ever talked to. She was very helpful.