January 29, 2023

AGENCY REPRIEVE: GOP’s “defund the IRS” stance fails miserably

AGENCY REPRIEVE: GOP's "defund the IRS" stance fails miserably

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The IRS got a tremendous boost thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. The money that the bill-collecting arm of the federal government received as part of that bill will fund an improvement in customer service just in time for the 2022 tax season.


Treasury Department Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo told reporters that money received from the Inflation Reduction Act was used to hire additional staff to handle customer service and to modernize outdated technology.

According to Adeyemo, nearly 5,000 staff members have been hired to answer calls.

In 2022, less than 15% of the 173 million calls the IRS received were answered by live agents – 8% of calls were routed to the automated system.

700 workers have been hired to staff local centers assisting taxpayers across the country and the agency hopes to see call wait times cut in half with the hiring of additional workers who are expected to be trained and ready to go by President’s Day.

Another added benefit will be new policies allowing taxpayers to respond to Internal Revenue Service notices online, instead of through the mail.

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Nearly $80 billion has been allocated for IRS resources and staff over the next decade. 700 workers have been hired to staff local centers assisting taxpayers across the country, amid gaslighting claims from Republicans that the Biden Administration is sending armed agency troops to the doorsteps of hardworking Americans.

That ludicrous bit of misinformation is completely false, as you may expect.

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The money was actually earmarked for the IRS to replace the roughly 50,000 IRS employees slated to retire over the next six years, beefing up an agency that has faced multiple cuts over the decades – and leaving taxpayers in the lurch.

The 2023 tax season has already begun.

The agency now accepting federal returns, and taxpayers will have until mid-April to file their taxes for 2022 – or apply for an extension until October 16th.

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With eight million 2021 returns still unprocessed, the additional staff will go a long way in helping insure that American taxpayers receive the service needed to process their refunds and talk to a live person in regard to their federal tax issues.

“These customer service improvements will have a positive impact on tax filers,” Adeyemo said. “Ensure returns are processed more quickly and taxpayers are able to access credits and benefits they’re entitled to in a timely manner.”

This kind of responsiveness and efficiency is exactly what the Republicans in Congress are fighting against as they continue to treat legitimate taxation as theft from their wealthy donors rather than a method of funding for the common good.

That view is selfishness brought to the point of sociopathy.

Original reporting by Alexandra Hutzler at ABC News

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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