Onwards and Upwards into the 20th Century!

Not to sound like a broken record, but if today is a vision of the future, boy, do I want the past.

I have another new client and needed to order transcripts. I called the IRS Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) and received (as usual) the good news that, “The average wait time is greater than 30 minutes.” For phone call #1, the wait time was 45 minutes. Unfortunately, in the middle of talking to the IRS representative, “Click.” I waited ten minutes to see if I’d get a phone call from her, but I didn’t, so I called back. The second wait time was 48 minutes.

(For the record, the first representative did call me back, about 15 minutes into the hold time of call #2. Her system crashed, and she apologized and noted that she couldn’t call back until it rebooted. I do not blame her, or the IRS, for that mishap–these things do happen.)

In today’s E@lert (from NAEA), in a section labeled “Knuckleheads in the News…Continued,” the NAEA notes that the IRS has not changed its mind on eliminating disclosure authorization (DA). Once DA is retired, I expect average hold times on calls to the PPS to average ten to fifteen minutes longer than today. Perhaps the IRS’s motto should be, “Onwards and Upwards into the 20th Century!”

The fallacy is the IRS stating that by allocating more resources to the CAF unit–and their wonderful alleged ten-day processing period for faxed authorizations (Tax Information Authorizations and Powers of Attorney)–the problem will be handled. That’s just not the case. What most practitioners will do is (a) fax the authorization to the CAF unit (which I did) and call the PPS to order the transcripts. I don’t want to wait the average ten days to obtain a transcript. Apparently, the IRS hasn’t considered this.

Perhaps the next retirement from the IRS will be the ability to fax Tax Information Authorizations and Powers of Attorney to the PPS. I probably shouldn’t have written that; given the IRS’s most recent actions, someone at the agency could believe that doing that would solve the problem….

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