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IRS Commissioner Warns of 'Extensive Wait Times' for Phone Assistance

8:03 AM, Feb 11, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
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New IRS commissioner John Koskinen is beginning his tenure with some blunt words: If you need IRS help on the telephone, be prepared to wait -- a long time.  The IRS posted a YouTube video of the commissioner's message to taxpayers as the pace of the 2014 filing season picks up.  The commissioner says the long wait times are due to the "very limited resources" available to the IRS.  "I want to be up front with you, and call it like it is," he says, before warning of "extensive wait times."

“We want to provide you with the assistance you need to get your taxes filed accurately and on time,” Koskinen added. “And we will work hard to issue refunds quickly while increasing our efforts to stop tax fraud and identity thieves.” 

Koskinen also cautioned taxpayers that phone lines will be busy this year. “Given our very limited resources, our phone lines are going to be extremely busy this year – and there will frequently be extensive wait times,” Koskinen said. “We are working to limit these waiting times as much as possible, and I apologize that we can’t do more in that regard this year.”

Koskinen suggests eFile, the IRS website, IRS phone apps, YouTube videos, as well as several IRS social media platforms as sources for quicker alternatives to telephone support.

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