Wednesday, January 6, 2010

IRS Hangs Up 70% of the Time

The IRS expects you to prepare an accurate tax return and file it on time. To help you accomplish this goal, the IRS answers their phone about 70% of the time. If you get lucky and get through, you will wait an average of 12 minutes before a live person speaks with you.

The IRS admits they have problems and blame the issues on new temporary tax law changes over the last few years. The news is not all bad, according to the IRS, as 93% of callers that got through received accurate information in 2009.

The IRS should consider the following adage: There is never enough time to give accurate information, but plenty of time to audit.

Auditing is an inefficient way to collect monies owed the government. The bulk of the calls reveived by the IRS are from the 20% of the people that do their own taxes, an area the IRS is auditing heavy due to taxpayer mistakes.

There are other resources available. The IRS website has information on nearly every topic, including forms and publications. Some tax organizations will answer your question for a fee of $50 or so. Considering all the time and expense needed to prepare an accurate return that reflects all the credits and deductions you qualify for, it may be time for a tax professional. It sounds self-serving, but a good tax pro can save you many times the fee he charges.

Every year we field numerous calls from people that want us to answer tax questions on their self-prepared return. We decline in every case. I don't need the added liability when I get no revenue for my time. If you have tax questions, it indicates you are in need of a professional. But it is your life, do what you want. Audits are always a nice source of revenue during the summer.

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