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(NBC News)   Not to shock you before you've had your coffee, but "customer" service at the IRS is bad and getting worse. That's it, I'm taking my "business" elsewhere   (nbcnews.com) divider line 89
    More: Obvious, IRS, coffee, lack of resources  
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3396 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Jan 2014 at 12:47 PM (34 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-19 11:51:43 AM
Good. Taxes are evil. Once the big, bad government has drowned in the bait bucket and everyone realizes that private ownership of everything is magical, then the healing can begin.
 
2014-01-19 11:59:24 AM

gnosis301: Good. Taxes are evil. Once the big, bad government has drowned in the bait bucket and everyone realizes that private ownership of everything is magical, then the healing can begin.


www.leftycartoons.com
 
2014-01-19 12:52:06 PM
Time to cut their budget! That'll help fix things!
 
2014-01-19 12:53:37 PM
Because of budget cuts. We're drowning the government in a bathtub, remember?
 
2014-01-19 12:53:37 PM
I thought customer service for the IRS involved using lube before butt farking you.
 
2014-01-19 12:54:32 PM
That's it, I'm taking my "business" elsewhere

No-one cares where you poop, subby.
 
2014-01-19 12:59:01 PM

scotchcrotch: I thought customer service for the IRS involved using lube before butt farking you.


Well now budget cuts are taking away the lube, so now you can thank the GOP for the dry fark you're going to get now. It's the way the GOP reps like it in the airport bathrooms.
 
2014-01-19 12:59:53 PM
Forget about calling the IRS, there's this thing on the internet called Google, they have all the answers you could ever need. And, if you don't like the answer they give you, keep searching and you will find something you like better. Remember they can't lie on the internet.
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
 
2014-01-19 01:01:28 PM
Maybe they should hire younger people. The old farts hanging onto their pensions and benefits etc. are beginning to fall asleep at the wheel.

They have reached their twilight years.
 
2014-01-19 01:03:28 PM
Just move to a flat tax. Took two semesters of Federal Tax in college. I couldn't believe the size of that text book, it alone took up all the space in my backpack. And the tax laws were too complicated to remember all that shiat. The only thing I really remember from those classes is that there are very few things where you're not taxed.
 
2014-01-19 01:07:01 PM
Remember, large corporations are always shining examples of efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and excellent customer relations, so vote Republican
 
2014-01-19 01:08:55 PM

DarkSoulNoHope: scotchcrotch: I thought customer service for the IRS involved using lube before butt farking you.

Well now budget cuts are taking away the lube, so now you can thank the GOP for the dry fark you're going to get now. It's the way the GOP reps like it in the airport bathrooms.


Fortunately, anal fissures are covered by Obamacare.
 
2014-01-19 01:12:20 PM
So..... Should I continue paying taxes or stop and hope I fall through the tax cracks.
 
2014-01-19 01:14:51 PM
I honestly didn't know they had customer service
 
2014-01-19 01:14:53 PM

skinink: Just move to a flat tax. Took two semesters of Federal Tax in college. I couldn't believe the size of that text book, it alone took up all the space in my backpack. And the tax laws were too complicated to remember all that shiat. The only thing I really remember from those classes is that there are very few things where you're not taxed.


As someone who has to spend 9.9999/10 of their paycheck on goods and services to keep my family alive, let me tell you where you can shove your flat farking tax. Go ahead and throw the ridiculously low capital gains tax rates and sales-tax reliant models in that oriface while you're at it.
 
2014-01-19 01:15:33 PM
floppingaces.netimages.sodahead.com
 
2014-01-19 01:15:46 PM
The IRS is bad, but oh man, things are so much worse outside the US.

At this point, I'd even say I miss them.
 
2014-01-19 01:16:08 PM

skinink: Just move to a flat tax.


I never quite understood how that was supposed to work. You set a fixed percentage? If so, how would you prevent farking over the bottom half of the population while keeping tax revenue at roughly the same level?
 
2014-01-19 01:18:22 PM
img.photobucket.com
 
2014-01-19 01:18:35 PM

DerAppie: skinink: Just move to a flat tax.

I never quite understood how that was supposed to work. You set a fixed percentage? If so, how would you prevent farking over the bottom half of the population while keeping tax revenue at roughly the same level?


Because freedom, and furthermore
 
2014-01-19 01:20:38 PM

DerAppie: skinink: Just move to a flat tax.

I never quite understood how that was supposed to work. You set a fixed percentage? If so, how would you prevent farking over the bottom half of the population while keeping tax revenue at roughly the same level?


Tax every electronic transaction at 1.5%
 
2014-01-19 01:20:56 PM
Pay your taxes racists
 
2014-01-19 01:23:24 PM

DerAppie: skinink: Just move to a flat tax.

I never quite understood how that was supposed to work. You set a fixed percentage? If so, how would you prevent farking over the bottom half of the population while keeping tax revenue at roughly the same level?


The idea of a flat tax doesn't mean there couldn't be a simple income-based tax bracket.
 
2014-01-19 01:24:09 PM

DerAppie: skinink: Just move to a flat tax.

I never quite understood how that was supposed to work. You set a fixed percentage? If so, how would you prevent farking over the bottom half of the population while keeping tax revenue at roughly the same level?


You have the first $x of income as deductible and set the marginal rate at or close to what the rich have as a marginal rate. Very few other deductibles.

Don't know about the US but in the UK to keep the same total revenue, you could set the income allowance before tax to around £25k / $40k or so per person.
 
2014-01-19 01:24:11 PM
I hate to interrupt the circlejerk, but I've had dealings with the IRS before, and my experience with their customer service has invariably been professional, courteous and friendly. The only government agency I've had better luck with in terms of their customer service staff has been the Social Security Administration, which I've dealt with for years because of my wife's disabilities.

Just because an agent of the government gives you news you don't like doesn't mean they're being rude.
 
2014-01-19 01:34:27 PM

Cyclometh: I hate to interrupt the circlejerk, but I've had dealings with the IRS before, and my experience with their customer service has invariably been professional, courteous and friendly. The only government agency I've had better luck with in terms of their customer service staff has been the Social Security Administration, which I've dealt with for years because of my wife's disabilities.

Just because an agent of the government gives you news you don't like doesn't mean they're being rude.


Not sure if being serious.
/squint.
 
2014-01-19 01:44:01 PM

skinink: Just move to a flat tax.


Because those poor people just have it so good. And if your solution to the baseline problem of the flat tax is "oh we'll just set the deductible at X or X for the poor people" then you're already going down the same rabbit hole our current tax system is based upon.
 
2014-01-19 01:49:18 PM
I end up having to talk to the IRS pretty much every year.  Despite the fear and loathing I had instilled before I did that, I found that as long as you're honest with them, they tend to be pretty darned awesome, as far as customer service goes.  I've had 0 bad experiences with them.

Now, the state department of revenue, yeah, they can kinda suck.
 
2014-01-19 01:50:48 PM

Cheeseface: skinink: Just move to a flat tax.

Because those poor people just have it so good. And if your solution to the baseline problem of the flat tax is "oh we'll just set the deductible at X or X for the poor people" then you're already going down the same rabbit hole our current tax system is based upon.


I think the best solution would just be to have the poor people work for the right to live, in addition to the stagnated wages. You know, good old fashioned toiling for basic survival, all for the benefit of disgustingly wealthy people who've never had to worry about going hungry or being homeless. If a person was deemed not productive enough, they just get turned into charcoal for the furnaces heating the living tenements of the other people who can't afford to pay taxes.
 
2014-01-19 01:52:35 PM

skobot: Cyclometh: I hate to interrupt the circlejerk, but I've had dealings with the IRS before, and my experience with their customer service has invariably been professional, courteous and friendly. The only government agency I've had better luck with in terms of their customer service staff has been the Social Security Administration, which I've dealt with for years because of my wife's disabilities.

Just because an agent of the government gives you news you don't like doesn't mean they're being rude.

Not sure if being serious.
/squint.


For what it's worth, I've had a very similar experience with the IRS. My parents were audited a couple of years back and the responses from the government were always professional and with no threats, outside of the law. The IRS put a hold on the fines/punishment (and eventually waived them) since my dad sought mediation when he got the notice of intent to audit. A joint business between him and a brother (who died that year) had some issues over passing via the estate. Dad wrote a check, had an accountant fill out the follow-up paperwork and resubmitted the adjusted 1040.

When I was treasurer of my college fraternity, I had to file the 990 (statement of income for non-profit, property-owning organizations with income above 25,000 annually). It was a royal pain in the ass, but I called the IRS helpline several times and every person I dealt with was easy to deal with if you know what to ask for.

They're not pricks, they just want the money and paperwork.
 
2014-01-19 01:53:45 PM

bluecamel: DerAppie: skinink: Just move to a flat tax.

I never quite understood how that was supposed to work. You set a fixed percentage? If so, how would you prevent farking over the bottom half of the population while keeping tax revenue at roughly the same level?

The idea of a flat tax doesn't mean there couldn't be a simple income-based tax bracket.


Yes it does. That is the DEFINITION of a flat tax. Otherwise it is progressive, just to a lesser extent. And instead of farking over the lowest income people you start farking over the middle class.

skinink: Just move to a flat tax. Took two semesters of Federal Tax in college. I couldn't believe the size of that text book, it alone took up all the space in my backpack. And the tax laws were too complicated to remember all that shiat. The only thing I really remember from those classes is that there are very few things where you're not taxed.


And the vast majority of it revolves around businesses, investment income, and other complicated issues (such as non-residents, US citizens abroad, valuation of non-cash benefits, anti-avoidance provisions etc). Removing the various credits and deductions for individuals would hardly put a dent into it.

I could write a progressive tax system in one (well, lets use 8 lines just to make it clearer and more relevant):

If your income is less than $10,000 your tax is $0;
If your income is between $10,000 and $18,925, Subtract $10,000 from your income and multiply by 0.100;
If your income is between $18,925 and $46,250, Subtract $18,925 from your income, multiply by 0.150 and add $892.50;
If your income is between $46,250  and $97,850, Subtract $46,250 from your income, multiply by 0.250 and add $4,991.25;
If your income is between $97,850 and $193,250, Subtract $97,850 from your income, multiply by 0.280 and add $17.891.25;
If your income is between $193,250 and $408,350, Subtract $193,250 from your income, multiply by 0.330 and add $44,603.25;
If your income is between $408,350 and $410,000, Subtract $408,350 from your income, multiply by 0.350 and add $115,586.30;
If your income is over $410,000, Subtract $410,000, Multiply by 0.396 and add $116,163.80


If you can't figure that out, you are probably not going to figure out a flat tax either. Anything else required for a progressive tax is also required for a flat tax (such as a definition of income, valuation of non-cash benefits, etc). You may also note that that is the 2013 U.S. tax bracket, including standard deduction and personal exemption, for a single individual with no dependants.
 
2014-01-19 01:53:48 PM

skobot: Cyclometh: I hate to interrupt the circlejerk, but I've had dealings with the IRS before, and my experience with their customer service has invariably been professional, courteous and friendly. The only government agency I've had better luck with in terms of their customer service staff has been the Social Security Administration, which I've dealt with for years because of my wife's disabilities.

Just because an agent of the government gives you news you don't like doesn't mean they're being rude.

Not sure if being serious.
/squint.


I don't know if he is, but I am.  Can you imagine a collection agency saying "We see that you owe us $374.  Take your time paying us, we'll charge you .5% per month but as long as you get that money to us within 90 days, we're cool".  Every time I've had to deal with the IRS they've been very professional and bent over backwards to help out.  Sure, they want my money, but they're not dicks about it.

The tax code is a pain in the ass, but that's the fault of Congress, not the IRS.
 
2014-01-19 01:58:36 PM

Cheeseface: skinink: Just move to a flat tax.

Because those poor people just have it so good. And if your solution to the baseline problem of the flat tax is "oh we'll just set the deductible at X or X for the poor people" then you're already going down the same rabbit hole our current tax system is based upon.


Ok, so first step is increase the standard deduction to something above $40-50 k. You can keep all the complicated other deductions  and exemptions for the time being. Later we can take out all the stupid deductions and make just say the rate is x% no matter what. It can still be progressive. That part's not the complicated part, really. If you're looking to simplify things the first step would be to exempt more people from income taxes. The next step is to eliminate most, if not all, deductions and exemptions.
 
2014-01-19 01:58:41 PM
Excuse a non-American's lack of knowledge. But isn't the IRS the department that collects income tax? If so, how does one make sense of the Tea Party rant on eliminating the IRS?
 
2014-01-19 02:02:06 PM

DerAppie: skinink: Just move to a flat tax.

I never quite understood how that was supposed to work. You set a fixed percentage? If so, how would you prevent farking over the bottom half of the population while keeping tax revenue at roughly the same level?


Why would anyone worry about that?
 
2014-01-19 02:03:35 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: When I was treasurer of my college fraternity, I had to file the 990 (statement of income for non-profit, property-owning organizations with income above 25,000 annually). It was a royal pain in the ass, but I called the IRS helpline several times and every person I dealt with was easy to deal with if you know what to ask for.


The problem lately is that with budget cuts, there are MUCH longer waits to get assistance. Longer as in we were getting waits of multiple hours in may and June (when assessments were all coming out).

The other big issues I (as a tax accountant preparing U.S. personal tax returns) have dealing with the IRS are their lack of online presence (I should be able to get W-2s, 1099s, assessments, etc online and see a persons account) and that they limit your ability to authorize a preparer to deal with them.

In Canada you can authorize an accounting firm and everyone authorized by that firm can deal with them. In the US can authorize one individual on the tax return which lasts until the next filing deadline and any further authorization you have to authorize by individual and they all must be either an EA, CPA, or US lawyer.
 
2014-01-19 02:04:53 PM

Pointy Tail of Satan: Excuse a non-American's lack of knowledge. But isn't the IRS the department that collects income tax? If so, how does one make sense of the Tea Party rant on eliminating the IRS?


How does one make sense out of 99% of what the Tea Party says?

You don't.
 
2014-01-19 02:05:30 PM

Pointy Tail of Satan: Excuse a non-American's lack of knowledge. But isn't the IRS the department that collects income tax? If so, how does one make sense of the Tea Party rant on eliminating the IRS?



The Tea Party's not for making sense of, it's for making fun of.
 
2014-01-19 02:06:49 PM

DerAppie: skinink: Just move to a flat tax.

I never quite understood how that was supposed to work. You set a fixed percentage? If so, how would you prevent farking over the bottom half of the population while keeping tax revenue at roughly the same level?


That's not a bug.  That's a feature.
 
2014-01-19 02:06:51 PM
I'd actually say they are one of the easier government organizations to deal with.  I've had to call them quite a few times to correct old returns or clarify certain tax laws and they actually helped out.

A majority of the issues people have with the IRS fall into two categories:

1) They blame the IRS for our ridiculous tax laws.  The IRS doesn't make the tax code but it's their job to enforce it.  The congressman representing you is far more responsible for the tax laws than some faceless organization in Washington DC.
2) They got into some investment scheme that they were promised was tax-free and it turned out the guy selling it to them had no idea what he was talking about (or was straight-up lying).  Of course then its the IRS' fault when they try to collect on that.  The IRS actually goes out of their way to survey the landscape of investment schemes and put out press releases to educate people on the mis-information out there.

I know it's cool to hate the government these days (and there are a lot of legitimate reasons to do so), but have any of you dealt with customer service with any large company or a bank?

\\ And before someone accuses me of it-- my only affiliation with the IRS is that of being a taxpayer.
 
2014-01-19 02:09:34 PM
I changed my name several years ago.  At the beginning of the next year, I filed my tax return through H&R Block, then waited...and waited...and after several weeks had passed I tried calling the IRS to find out what was up with my refund.  Apparently if there's anything even remotely hard about processing a tax return, they just shuffle it to the bottom of the pile and do it last, so even though I filed within days of getting my W2 I didn't get my return until after 99% of everyone else in the country.  Additionally, the woman I talked to on the phone was kind of a biatch and basically told me I deserved it for having done something so "suspicious" as change my name.
 
2014-01-19 02:09:53 PM

dywed88: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: When I was treasurer of my college fraternity, I had to file the 990 (statement of income for non-profit, property-owning organizations with income above 25,000 annually). It was a royal pain in the ass, but I called the IRS helpline several times and every person I dealt with was easy to deal with if you know what to ask for.

The problem lately is that with budget cuts, there are MUCH longer waits to get assistance. Longer as in we were getting waits of multiple hours in may and June (when assessments were all coming out).

The other big issues I (as a tax accountant preparing U.S. personal tax returns) have dealing with the IRS are their lack of online presence (I should be able to get W-2s, 1099s, assessments, etc online and see a persons account) and that they limit your ability to authorize a preparer to deal with them.

In Canada you can authorize an accounting firm and everyone authorized by that firm can deal with them. In the US can authorize one individual on the tax return which lasts until the next filing deadline and any further authorization you have to authorize by individual and they all must be either an EA, CPA, or US lawyer.


For your first point, yeah, budget cuts are a pain in the butt for an organization that deals with people all the time.

For the second and third, I did not know either of those. I am curious as to why you think they exist. Is it privacy laws, bureaucratic inertia, some lobbying shenanigans from tax prep companies (like Turbotax), or some combination of all of them? My taxes are fairly simple (this year may be a little more complex because of multiple jobs, selling some long held stock for capital gains - because I had no money, and student loan deductions), so I'm definitely not the person to talk to on thorny issues like businesses or trust structuring.

Also, I've declared the clerk at the liquor store as my legal dependent. He needs me as much as I need him.
 
2014-01-19 02:12:33 PM
I can't wait to get my W-2 from last year. I have to file it and an amended 2012 return because I qualified for the foreign earned income tax credit.

Cha-ching!!

I love it when Uncle Sam cuts me a big ol' check.
 
2014-01-19 02:17:24 PM

rumpelstiltskin: Pointy Tail of Satan: Excuse a non-American's lack of knowledge. But isn't the IRS the department that collects income tax? If so, how does one make sense of the Tea Party rant on eliminating the IRS?


The Tea Party's not for making sense of, it's for making fun of.


Democrats need enemies.
 
2014-01-19 02:20:24 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: The IRS is bad, but oh man, things are so much worse outside the US.

At this point, I'd even say I miss them.


Not so much in Canada. Although they did shut down counter services which is a dumbass move. Everything is going on line for us. How seniors are going to survive I don't know. I figure the phone lines are going to blow up in the call center this year.
 
2014-01-19 02:20:46 PM
skobot
I think the best solution would just be to have the poor people work for the right to live, in addition to the stagnated wages. You know, good old fashioned toiling for basic survival, all for the benefit of disgustingly wealthy people who've never had to worry about going hungry or being homeless. If a person was deemed not productive enough, they just get turned into charcoal for the furnaces heating the living tenements of the other people who can't afford to pay taxes.


Your modest proposal is interesting. I think you should outline your specific ideas and publish a pamphlet as swiftly as possible..
 
2014-01-19 02:25:46 PM
FUND THE IRS.

Bonus, it won't cost a dime.
 
2014-01-19 02:27:22 PM

TinyFist: I love it when Uncle Sam cuts me a big ol' check.


Why that just means the government has been holding your money and paying well below market interest.

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: I did not know either of those.


Yep, only issues you come up with in limited circumstances (i.e. are in an office that prepares 1040s). The latter issue is (in part) part of a failed attempt to crack down on preparers. In an accounting firm, you have a bunch of low level staff that prepare returns and then senior staff that review and sign off on them. The former can be any bum off the street, the latter have to be an EA, Lawyer or CPA (which is quite reasonable). There was an attempt in 2012 to require special training for all preparers, however it was shut down by the courts. Limiting the PoA authorization for CPAs and EAs was part of the same crackdown.

As for the lack of an online system, that just seems to be the government being slow to keep up with technology. The CRA is only a few years ahead of them, having partially implemented availability of tax slips (W-2 and 1099 equivalents) last year. And the IRS is moving forward, with the recent announcement of being able to access prior year returns online.
 
2014-01-19 02:28:20 PM

skobot: Cyclometh: I hate to interrupt the circlejerk, but I've had dealings with the IRS before, and my experience with their customer service has invariably been professional, courteous and friendly. The only government agency I've had better luck with in terms of their customer service staff has been the Social Security Administration, which I've dealt with for years because of my wife's disabilities.

Just because an agent of the government gives you news you don't like doesn't mean they're being rude.

Not sure if being serious.
/squint.


My one experience with the IRS was positive fwiw.
 
2014-01-19 02:33:37 PM

Methadone Girls: Fark_Guy_Rob: The IRS is bad, but oh man, things are so much worse outside the US.

At this point, I'd even say I miss them.

Not so much in Canada. Although they did shut down counter services which is a dumbass move. Everything is going on line for us. How seniors are going to survive I don't know. I figure the phone lines are going to blow up in the call center this year.


I doubt it will make too much of a difference as the volume of in person enquiries was minuscule compared to phone. Far more important are the budget cuts being implemented throughout the rest of the CRA likely including cuts to support staff. And the CRA is already a pain in the ass to deal with. farkING BUSY SIGNALS FOR HOURS ON END. And virtually everything has to go through general inquiries (as most numbers to specific areas were rerouted there over the past few years) often resulting in 3 or 4 transfers to get somewhere useful or (god forbid) people that think they know what they are talking about and don't transfer you "why would an individual be subject to Part XIII tax"). They really should not have rerouted international enquiries to general.
 
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