The IRS has an employee (maybe even a whole department) whose job is to hang up on callers. 

As part of my tax practice, I am on the phone often with various taxing agencies.  When calling into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the California State Franchise Tax Board (FTB), there is always a substantial amount of time spent on hold.  Hold times for the IRS can often be anywhere from one to two hours.   I have done this for years and anticipate this every time I call.  I simply work on other matters while waiting on hold.

Today I dial into the IRS to begin the lengthy process of speaking to an IRS Revenue Officer.  While I am on hold, I take other phone calls and work on other files.  After two hours and fifteen minutes on hold, my call is answered.  The IRS representative answering the call states “You’ve been on hold for two hours fifteen minute and have been transferred to me to disconnect the call.  You will need to hang up and call back and begin the process again.”

Evidently, this person’s job is to hang up on calls after two and a quarter hours on hold.  The IRS is monitored by congress and has been reprimanded to bring down their average caller hold time.  Instead of actually taking the steps necessary to better serve the taxpayer, the IRS has instead chosen to hang up on callers to artificially reduce the average hold time.

I don’t know why this surprises me.  After many years of practice nothing the IRS does should shock me but this is ridiculous even for the IRS.

I guess the moral of this is:

  1. Don’t expect a rapid resolution when working with any taxing agency.
  2. Don’t be shocked by anything done by a taxing agency.
  3. If you are seeking common sense and rational behavior, the taxing agencies are the wrong place to look.


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