IRS ‘fully committed’ to better customer service as agency hires 4,000 new workers

Charles Rettig, IRS Commissioner, testifies during the Senate Finance Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., June 8, 2021.
Tom Williams | Pool | Reuters

The IRS said it has passed a milestone of hiring 4,000 new customer service workers as the agency prepares for the 2023 tax filing season.

Hired over the past several months with funds allocated by the Inflation Reduction Act, these workers have been trained to assist taxpayers, including phone support, which has struggled with high call volumes during the pandemic.

“The IRS is fully committed to providing the best service possible, and we are moving quickly to use new funding to help taxpayers during the busy tax season,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement Thursday.

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“As the newly hired employees are trained and move online in 2023, we will have more assistors on the phone than any time in recent history,” Rettig said.

The IRS plans to hire another 1,000 customer service workers by the end of the year. Almost all training will be complete by Presidents Day 2023, when the highest call volumes typically occur, according to the agency.

Meanwhile, phone wait times remain high, and the IRS encourages taxpayers to visit for answers to questions. “IRS employees look forward to providing better service in the near future,” Rettig added.

Enacted in August, the Inflation Reduction Act allocated nearly $80 billion to the agency over the next 10 years, with funds earmarked for enforcement, operations, taxpayer services, technology, development of a direct free e-file system and more.

As of Oct. 14, the agency had 5.1 million unprocessed individual tax returns received in 2022, including late-filed returns from previous years, according to the IRS.

Rettig in March told the House Ways and Means Committee that he expects the backlog will “absolutely” resolve before December.

Sophie Tremblay

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