IRS Blames Congress Budget Cuts For Not Answering The Phone

Yay, its tax season. Definitely not our favorite time of the year. And if that makes us unhappy – some would say angry – here is something to make us even more upset. The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t always answer its phones.

There is a perfectly reasonable explanation of course. According to Josh Koskinen, the IRS Commissioner, that is. The reason is that their phone system is overloaded – because they aren’t answering their phones.

So what does that system do?

It drops calls, of course. 8 million dropped calls, that is.

Koskinen said their phone system hung up on more than 8 million taxpayers during this filing season.


According to Koskinen, it is not their fault. It is the fault of Congress. Congress cut millions of dollars out of their budget, so he took money out of taxpayer services and used it elsewhere.


Josh Koskinen, IRS Commissioner.

So 8 million calls were dropped, but that’s not all. Those that didn’t get dropped may have ended up in voicemail hell, and never spoke to a real human being. Of the 40 percent who did make it through to a human being, the average wait time on hold was more than 30 minutes.

That is bad! You didn’t want to talk to the IRS anyway, and they made you wait too, wasting your time.

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee provided a staff report that shows the IRS diverted millions from taxpayer services and other areas to pay for President Barack Obama’s health law.

Fell better about it now? I didn’t think you would!

And this information gets to us years after the health legislation became the law of the land.

Add one more fine mess courtesy of Obamacare.

Thank you, Nancy Pelosi, for telling Americans to sign on to Obamacare, so we can discover it has messed up many other things years later.

And like all well-trained public servants, Koskinen passed the buck, Wednesday, saying Congress caused it, not him. Since 2010, the IRS budget has been cut by $1.2 billion, but this is the first time anyone at the IRS reported any effect on the level of service. And yes, it is 2015 – five years later.

Koskinen told the Ways and Means subcommittee, “It’s simply a matter of not having enough people to answer the phones and provide service at our walk-in sites as a result of cuts to our budget.”

The commissioner said because the IRS is required by law to implement the health law, he has few other places to cut, so he cut services to taxpayers.

So how come he has been keeping this secret for five years?

His excuse is that the agency requested $600 million over the past two years for computer upgrades to implement two laws – the health law, and a new law requiring foreign banks to report information about U.S. account holders.

Koskinen said, “Congress gave us zero dollars so we had no choice but to look elsewhere.”

It seems the man is incapable of reporting a problem before it destroys the system. He just waits until the system falls apart around him, and then he only spills the beans when forced to.

Koskinen is same the man who said Lois Lerner did not break any laws with the open attack on Tea Party tax exemptions.

Kevin Brady (R-TX) told Koskinen: “This is the most corrupt and deceitful IRS in history.”


Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, “Redistribution of Common Sense – Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014,” was published in July, 2014. “The Game Changer – America’s Most Stunning Presidential Election in History,” was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.