Hey! IRS Spend Some Of My Tax Dollars On This!

I just got off the phone with the IRS.  I spent 4.5 hours on hold, being transferred around, and in one instance, yelled at for complaining about being on hold for 2 hours (as punishment I was hung up on and had to start all over). All this just so I could ask a very basic question about tax filing and community non-profit groups.

Now I did check the IRS's Internet site first.  I searched under "Not for profit”, Non-Profit, "Community group", and every other wording I could think of.  I found absolutely nothing.

So, I stayed on hold.... for 4.5 hours...  Wasting my day.  When I finally got someone on the phone that acted like they wanted to help me (a very nice guy who did his best to apologize for the delay etc.) I found out the word I needed to look under was "Tax Exempt".

As I was also online at the IRS web site, when he told me I needed information on "Tax Exempt" organizations, I typed it into the search feature on the web site.

Bingo! Everything I was looking for.  Right there.  All I needed to know were the magic words "Tax Exempt".

Now I ask you folks, if you were a tax professional                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and I said I was looking for information on Non-Profit, etc., I bet you would know I was talking about "Tax Exempt", etc.

So, with all the tax money the IRS gets, why don't they cross reference their documents etc., so that a search using "common" terms brings up what a person is looking for. Or at least give an option of looking at a list of "common" terms and the "official" words the IRS uses.

I also found out that when you call the IRS, you basically have only one phone number to call. After you tell the person that picks up the call what you want, you are transferred.  If you’re smart and ask for the number you are being transferred to, just incase you get disconnected, you’re told, "sorry we do not give out any numbers.  If you ask what should I do then if I am disconnected?  The response is less then encouraging.  You’re told "just call back in to the main number and you will have to hold again".

I don't get it.  Why can't the IRS publish a list of "departments” and their phone numbers?  It would save a lot of time.  Look over the list; call the department that sounds right.  If it is wrong, they can tell you, and tell you the right department to call.  If they don't know the right department then they can have you call that "main" number.

I can guarantee if this was done there would be a lot less "frustrated" taxpayers out there.

Let me know what you think.

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Last modified: November 08, 2002