The IRS made the 2015 tax season more painful for taxpayers than it should have been, the agency’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that accused the agency of cutting money for customer service and ignoring phone calls while moving the money over to keep Obamacare and other administration priorities on track.
IRS employees ignored more than 30 million phone calls from desperate taxpayers seeking help in the run-up to the 2015 filing deadline — and those who did get through often waited a half-hour before getting help.
The IRS apologized publicly for the poor service and blamed Congress, saying lawmakers needed to pony up more money if they wanted better results.
But Inspector General J. Russell George said the IRS cut its own funding by eliminating nearly $150 million from customer service and slashing more than 2,000 staff positions.
The findings confirm what congressional Republicans charged as they reviewed the tax agency’s books.