Making IRS Customer Service Look Good

It’s hard to make the IRS’s customer service look good. If you get through–and it’s very difficult to reach the IRS, and you will usually be on hold for more than an hour before you do–there’s a good chance the information you receive will be wrong. Yet I have found another government agency that makes the IRS look superb.

Welcome to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. I’m trying to file an extension (which might be automatic, but the information on the website is inconclusive on that) for a client. Here’s the wonder of it all:

1. The website only worked without the “www.” That’s been fixed.
2. I attempted to efile the extension. That requires registration, and then approval by the BEA. But first-time filers can’t efile, so that didn’t work. Luckily, that extension (which I tried to file) doesn’t have to be filed: The BEA website now shows that the extension has been granted to June 30th for all new filers. (But I didn’t know that until late this weekend.)
3. Well, then I tried to fax the extension to the BEA. The BEA’s fax number rings busy…constantly.
4. I called the BEA, and got voice mail. A return phone call would be coming within 24 hours. No, it didn’t.
5. I’m now not even certain that the filing requirement exists for every business with foreign ownership. I’ve been told by someone else that he thinks only those contacted by the BEA have to file. Your guess is as good as mine on this.

In any case, I have lots of fax confirmation sheets showing I tried to fax the extension. And I have an understanding client who is as amused as I am with the BEA.

One Response to “Making IRS Customer Service Look Good”

  1. […] Sunday I penned the post, “Making IRS Customer Service Look Good.” I now need to take that back. Why? I was greeted at 7am this morning by a phone call from an […]