The Internal Revenue Service announced today significant progress to prepare for the 2023 tax filing season as the agency passed a milestone of hiring 4,000 new customer service representatives to help answer phones and provide other services.
These assistors have been hired over the last several months and are being trained to provide help to taxpayers, including answering phone questions. This is part of a much wider IRS improvement effort tied to the Inflation Reduction Act funding approved in August. The IRS continues working hard on implementing the landmark 10-year legislation, and updates on other improvement areas will be provided in the near future.
“The IRS is fully committed to providing the best service possible, and we are moving quickly to use the new funding to help taxpayers during the busy tax season,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Our phone lines have been simply overwhelmed during the pandemic, and we have been unable to provide the help that IRS employees want to give and that the nation’s taxpayers deserve. But help is on the way for taxpayers. As the newly hired employees are trained and move online in 2023, we will have more assistors on the phone than at any time in recent history.”
The customer service representatives being hired are in various stages of being onboarded. When they join the IRS, they will receive weeks of training to help serve people and improve the taxpayer experience. The training will cover a wide range of issues including technical account management issues and understanding and respecting taxpayer rights.
The goal is to add another 1,000 customer service representatives by the end of the year, bringing the total of new hires in this area to 5,000.
Many employees will be in place for the start of the 2023 tax season, and others will join as their training is completed in the following weeks. Almost all of their training will be completed by Presidents Day 2023; traditionally the period when the IRS sees the highest phone volumes. The IRS anticipates phones will be answered at a much higher level during the 2023 filing season.
IRS improvements and the use of the new direct hire authority have speeded up the hiring process. This year, these positions have been brought on since August; last year, it took approximately eight months to hire customer service representatives.
“Even though we have new hires in the pipeline, our phone lines remain extremely busy,” Rettig said. “We continue to urge people to first visit IRS.gov for information related to their tax questions. Many of the questions we receive can be answered online, providing faster answers for people than calling. We appreciate the taxpayer’s continued patience with us. Please know that we have dedicated employees across the IRS working hard every day to help people on the phone and in person. IRS employees look forward to providing better service in the near future.”
In addition to the phone assistors, the IRS is also working to hire additional people throughout the agency, not just in taxpayer service areas but in Information Technology and compliance positions – all with a goal of improving the work the IRS does.
“IRS employees make a difference for our nation, and we’re excited that we can add more people to serve taxpayers and support the critical work of tax administration,” Rettig said. “Positions will be open across the country in coming weeks and months, and we encourage potential candidates to visit USAjobs.gov to look for opportunities.”