One of the biggest challenges for the IRS is simply responding to the more than 116 million Americans who call the agency each year with questions.
Taxpayers calling the IRS last year waited an average of 17 minutes with only 53 percent of callers receiving services, despite how much taxpayers are shelling out for those calls, according to officials.
“Right now, for us to field a phone call, on average it costs $41 dollars per call,” said Michael Lin, IRS’ chief of user experience and design, speaking last week at an event hosted by Government Executive. “To take that a step further, for us to help someone in person at one of our tax assistance centers, it’s about $67 dollars on average per visit. That’s a huge cost for us as an agency.”
During the last tax filing season—between the months of January and April—wait times and service improved over their year-round averages, but Lin said the IRS is hoping its new digital investments will further boost both the tax-paying experience for Americans and pay dividends for the agency in the long run.
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