IRS Hires 4,000 New Agents

Yesterday, the IRS revealed the progress they’ve made since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act which provided them with an additional $80B in funding over the next ten years. According to the communication, they’ve hired 4,000 new employees.

SInce passage of the bill, the Service has received direct hire authority which allows them to hire employees on the spot. They’ve been holding job fairs and recruiting events to aid in the process.

Supposedly, the majority of the new hires will become customer service reps who will answer the 800 number and help in processing returns. The new employees will supposedly be fully trained and put into place by the beginning of 2023.

Let me leave you with this.

I have bittersweet thoughts about this announcement.

It’s certainly true that we need additional customer service reps to answer the 800 numbers. I’ve found it impossible to get someone at the Service on the phone recently.

I had a situation before the extension due date where I needed to get a copy of an IRS file on a particular taxpayer. So I called the Practitioner Priority Hotline, which is the number given to us that’s answered before any of the others.

I called two or three times for ten weeks and never got through to anyone. What I received was a recorded message saying something like due to increased calling traffic, I should try my call later.

In addition to not getting our calls answered, we’ve also had impossible difficulties getting things like returns and amendments processed. It shouldn’t take upwards of a year to get something processed.

But if any of you think that those 4,000 new hires are going to spend the rest of their careers at the IRS doing nothing but answering phones, I have a bridge to sell you. Sooner or later they’ll be doing audits.

No one hates handling audits more than me. I’m probably the only public accountant in Chicago who can’t stand them.

Most of my contemporaries love them because they can charge their customers an extra $10K to $20K to do them. Many will even put their clients into risky tax positions hoping for an audit letter.

On the other hand, I’ve always thought that our main job is to make sure that our clients don’t get audited. I haven’t had one of my returns audited at the Federal level in twelve years.

Trust me when I say that I have better things to do with my time than to spend a couple of months in a room with an auditor. When you add in the fact that the new auditors would probably be 23 year-old trainees that don’t know a debit from a credit, you begin to understand my abhorrence of the process.

If the current polling data on the midterms comes to fruition, the GOP will take control of both houses. They’ve already said that their first legislative agenda would be to nullify the additional $80B going to the Service.

They’ll probably fail because even if they do pass something in both houses, the President will veto it and they won’t have enough votes to override the veto. But that won’t change the annual budget process.

Just because a bill passes, doesn’t mean that it is funded. Republican leadership has already vowed that this part of the Inflation Reduction Act won’t get a dime. If that occurs, those 4,000 new hires will be laid off and we’ll go back to not being able to get an agent on the phone.

Again, my thoughts on the matter are bittersweet.

Either way, we need to continue doing the best accounting and tax work possible. No one needs a knock on the door followed by an agent with a badge and an attitude.

We’re all going to get through this. Let’s get through it together.

Accounting Solutions Ltd. stands ready to complete our mission and purpose of protecting you, your family, and your business. Whether you need Employee Retention Credits, M&A Due Diligence, Payroll Services, or Accounting and Tax Work, you have but to ask. I’m here and I remain,

Sincerely yours,

Chris Amundson
Accounting Solutions Ltd.

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