That’s how long I spent on hold on the IRS Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) yesterday–two hours, forty-two minutes. A client had made a payment and it was misapplied by the IRS; I needed to have the IRS correctly apply it. As I have a copy of the cancelled check, this is a relatively easy fix…if I can speak to someone at the IRS.

I didn’t yesterday.

I called at 2:50pm PDT. I was warned that the wait time was greater than sixty minutes. About an hour and a half into the call the call was transferred and it appeared I would soon be speaking to someone at the IRS. Unfortunately, ten minutes later the call was transferred again; this time the call was transferred back into the PPS cue and I was told I had at least another thirty minutes to wait.

At 5:32pm PDT I hung up. I had an engagement I needed to head to. I did let my client know I’d tackle this when I return from my vacation.

Unfortunately, lengthy hold times appear to be growing. About two weeks ago I was on hold for 101 minutes. And things aren’t likely to improve in the near future: The IRS’s budget will likely be cut again. While President Obama requested a large budget increase for the IRS, Republicans in the House rightly said no. While the Senate won’t agree to the House’s budget proposal for the IRS, there’s no chance of the IRS budget increasing until the IRS scandal is resolved.

If you’re going to be calling the IRS my advice is to call early in the day or very late in the day. I’d also avoid Mondays and Fridays. At least I have multiple phone lines and a speakerphone allowing me to work while on hold.

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