IRS Building
Tax & AccountingDecember 12, 2022

Tax professionals express frustration with the IRS practitioner priority service line

Many tax professionals are bracing for what some are already calling the worst tax season in recent memory. The IRS is about to lose thousands of experienced staff to retirement and attrition at year-end. Hiring is going slower than anticipated, and new staff will face training delays because many of those slated to train them are leaving the agency. 

IRS's Practitioner Priority Service line service frustrations are mounting 

Many tax pros rely on the IRS's Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) phone system to contact the IRS. In recent weeks, getting through on the PPS has been virtually impossible, according to many. The degradation in service seems to be tied to the October rollout of a speech recognition system that the IRS is piloting to thwart auto-dialers and robocalls being offered by a few entrepreneurs to enable tax pros to "jump the line."  

On December 6, Megan Killian, Executive Vice President of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), sent a letter to IRS Acting Commissioner Doug O'Donnell. This letter provided examples of communications from a number of the 60,000 enrolled agents worldwide that they represent, describing their recent experiences in attempting to get through on the PPS line. 

Ms. Killian wrote the following: 

"With the recent funding for the IRS in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), we call on the IRS, as their first action in expending these funds, to immediately begin demonstrating concrete improvement to the phone situation and, as a result, begin restoring confidence in customer service."  

Ms. Killian also requested that the IRS take the following specific actions to alleviate the issue:

  • Set a goal with metrics for immediate improvement to the phone system. 
  • Measure and report on wait and response times and customer service satisfaction monthly. 
  • Utilize private sector expertise to initiate improvements. 
  • Re-assign more staff to answer the PPS phone lines. 
  • Pause the auto-dial pilot that has only increased wait times. 

The full text of the NAEA letter can be found here.

Get More News with CCH AnswerConnect
Mark Friedlich
Vice President of US Affairs for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting
Mark Friedlich, a CPA & tax lawyer, is the Vice President of US Affairs for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting. He is a member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s Chief Tax Counsel’s Advisory Board, advisor to 14 state taxing authorities, and has been a member of the American Bar Association’s Tax Section and AICPA’s Tax Section leadership teams. Prior to joining Wolters Kluwer he was a COO and Principal at PwC.


Back To Top