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Tax season kicked off for individual filers Monday with a bigger IRS customer service team and enhanced technology as the agency begins to deploy its nearly $80 billion in funding.

Over the past several months, the IRS has hired 5,000 new customer service staff, aiming to “significantly increase” the number of answered calls, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo told reporters Friday.

IRS service was flagged as one of the agency’s “most serious problems” in the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2022 annual report, with only 13% of callers reaching live assistance during the 2022 filing season.

The IRS will bolster in-person support at Taxpayer Assistance Centers across the country, putting the agency on track to “triple the number of Americans served,” Adeyemo said.

The agency also plans to improve customer service through technology, including the ability for filers to respond to certain IRS notices online and for the IRS to scan paper returns.

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