Daines: The IRS is Failing Montanans

Daines Underscores Need to Reform IRS Services, Tax Code as Tax Season Begins 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the first day of tax season, Senator Steve Daines is calling for reforms to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) operations in light of a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealing that nearly 62 percent of callers who wanted to speak with an IRS representative were unable to receive assistance. 

“As this year’s tax season begins today, we are once again reminded of the consistent shortcomings displayed by the IRS,” Daines stated. “Our tax code is nearly five times as long as the Bible, but with none of the good news. During the 2015 tax season, the IRS neglected to provide Montanans with quality and timely customer service. Our government should be in the business of properly serving taxpayers, yet our nation’s chief tax-collecting agency has failed to fulfill this most basic obligation. I will continue to push for commonsense reforms that ensure Montanans are better served by the IRS.” 

The GAO report found that:

  • The IRS provided “the lowest level of telephone service during fiscal year 2015,” with only 38 percent of callers able to reach an IRS representative.
  • Average wait times have nearly tripled between 2010 and 2015, from 10.8 minutes to more than 30 minutes.
  • The IRS has not developed meaningful plans for a comprehensive customer service strategy to address these problems.

Last week, Daines sent a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen expressing his concern over recent reports that the IRS is not stocking a reasonable supply of physical tax forms at regional Taxpayer Assistance Centers. Daines urged the IRS to reconsider its policy and to provide a consistent stock of tax forms for rural customers, many of which do not have access to reliable internet services.