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IRS: Someone Will Be With You … Sometime Today
Posted By Carole Fleck On February 17, 2014 @ 4:30 pm In Money & Savings,Work | Comments Disabled
That’s what you might be asking if you call the IRS with questions about your 2013 tax return. The agency says today starts one of the busiest weeks of the tax filing season for the IRS phone lines. So make yourself comfortable and settle in. You’re likely to be on hold longer than the 17.6 minutes customers waited last year to speak with someone.
You think that’s bad? Some 20 million people, or 39 percent of callers, got so frustrated with the wait time that they hung up without talking to anyone, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate,  the independent arm of the IRS that advocates for taxpayers.
Due to limited resources this year, the IRS  says it’s encouraging taxpayers to visit IRS. gov as a first stop to get quick answers to questions, or to find where to go for answers, before calling in. The agency says 1040 Central will offer a quick overview for frequently asked questions while the IRS Services Guide  provides a list of resources for specific questions.
Read: Get The Tax Refund You’re Owed 
More than 100 million taxpayers call the IRS for help and millions more visit IRS walk-in sites or send correspondence each year. But getting help has become increasingly troublesome. A decade ago, the IRS answered some 795,000 tax  law questions on site during the filing season. Last year, the National Taxpayer Advocate said, it handled about 110,000 questions, or 86 percent less.
Likewise, only 61 percent of calls from taxpayers got through to an agent during fiscal year 2013, down from 87 percent 10 years earlier, the National Taxpayer Advocate said in a report. It blamed inadequate IRS funding by Congress “as a top problem for taxpayers.”
“Key metrics show the agency is increasingly unable to keep up with taxpayers’ demand for help in complying with their tax obligations,” the report found.
The IRS says that most refunds are issued within 21 days. For those of you who want to know the status of your refund, visit the Where’s My Refund tool.
Among other issues:
The IRS offers free tax return help nationwide from volunteers  or search free tax help on IRS.gov. AARP  also offers free tax assistance. Search  by address, county or zip code for a volunteer close by.
Photo: Moneyblognewz/flickr 
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URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/5610978419_eff36c6080_n1.jpg
 National Taxpayer Advocate,: http://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/2013-Annual-Report/News-Release
 IRS: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Warns-of-Heavy-Call-Volume-Offers-Tips-for-Faster-Answers
 IRS. gov : http://www.irs.gov
 1040 Central : http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/1040-Central
 IRS Services Guide: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p5136.pdf
 Get The Tax Refund You’re Owed: http://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/info-02-2012/tax-tips-you-should-know.html
 tax: http://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/info-11-2012/new-taxes-in-2013.html
 Where’s My Refund : http://www.irs.gov/Refunds/Where%27s-My-Refund-It%27s-Quick,-Easy,-and-Secure.
 >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter: http://www.aarp.org/online-community/people/subscribeFromEmail.action?id=29636&intcmp=ILC-EMAIL-SUB-MONY
 Publication 17: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf
 Tax Map: http://apps.irs.gov/app/scripts/exit.jsp?dest=http://taxmap.ntis.gov/taxmap
 Online Payment Agreement: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Online-Payment-Agreement-Application
 volunteers: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers
 AARP: http://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/
 Search: http://www.aarp.org/applications/VMISLocator/searchTaxAideLocations.action
 Moneyblognewz/flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moneyblognewz/5610978419/sizes/l/in/photolist-9xPJpe-9xPJzD-9xSJ1E-9xPK7Z-9xPKfT-9xSHnU-hQXQQW-bgfFKc-9Vzsr7-bPLNvV-bPLKbn-bASnA9-bPLRLH-bPM3ri-bAS551-bPLQjR-bAS7cd-bPM1hZ-bAS68E-bPLWe8-bPLUcX-bPLN4r-bASgXu-bPLMFv-bASkzS-bPLUAK-bAShC7-bASg8j-bASji5-bPLKwX-bPLRq4-bASaQG-bPLTT8-bPLP6k-bPLZVc-bASdkj-bASmHh-bPLJyp-bAS5r7-bAS7uC-bPLSy6-bPLXpr-bAS8im-bASeE1-bAS8FE-bPLR3B-bPM3Kx-bPLNKZ-bASb7Y-bPLVqF-bASjGU/
 >> Get discounts on financial services with your AARP Member Advantages.: http://www.aarpfinancial.com/content/aarpfinancial/home.html?intcmp=AE-BL-MON-DISC
 Need Help From the IRS? Don’t Hold Your Breath: http://blog.aarp.org/2014/01/10/need-help-from-the-irs-dont-hold-your-breath/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL
 20 Star Couples, All 50+, Who Put One Another First to Make Romance Last: http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/style-trends/info-2014/celebrity-star-couples-over-50-photo.html?intcmp=HPBB4#slide1?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS
 Get free assistance with tax-return preparation from Tax-Aide: http://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-ADV
 Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?keycode=U9ZTPH9&intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM
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