The IRS says its employees are answering phones to provide customer support at a much higher rate than in previous years.
An unnamed Treasury Department official told The Washington Post that 88.6% of phone calls received from the start of tax filing season on January 23 through February 4 had been answered – a massive increase from the 13% answer rate last year and the 11% answer rate in 2021. Add in the number of callers who successfully reached the automated answering system and chat support, and the percentage rises to 93.3%, the Treasury source said.
The soaring response rate is thanks in large part to the extra funding provided to the IRS through the Inflation Reduction Act. The IRS used some of that money – $80 billion over 10 years – to hire 5,000 people specifically to answer phones. It also invested in new technology that allows taxpayers to find a greater quantity of basic information on their own, reducing the need for help from IRS call centers.