PPS Gets Friendlier: Callbacks Available

Twice a week, on average, I call the IRS’s Practitioner Priority Service. It’s the usual starting place for tax professionals to resolve issues with the IRS. This year, calling the IRS has been an adventure. This is not the IRS’s fault: Covid has played havoc with everyone. But getting through to the IRS for tax professionals has been an adventure: If I call after 9am PST I’m usually greeted by the message, “Due to extremely high call volumes we cannot complete your call at this time; please call back later. Goodbye.”

This morning, I called the IRS to resolve a client’s payment. He made a payment for 2019 taxes–and it shows on the IRS computer system. However, it has not made it to the client’s account; somehow the payment is stuck in limbo. When I called the IRS up I was greeted with something new and improved (really, this isn’t a joke):

We estimate your wait time to be between 15 and 30 minutes.

Rather than waiting on hold, we can call you back when it’s your turn. You will not lose your place in the queue. To receive a callback, press….

After entering my callback number (it does require a direct phone number), I was told I would receive a callback in 20 minutes…and I did! This is a marked improvement, and I’m surprised the IRS hasn’t publicized it.

Additionally, I’ve been told the ability to receive callbacks has been added to the IRS’s Identity Protection Unit. This year, the IRS has sent out 25% more letters requiring individuals to prove their identity while staff has been cut. Getting through to that number has been extremely difficult. Callbacks make the identity verification process a little easier.

All-in-all, kudos to the IRS for adding some technology that helps users.


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