The IRS is going on a hiring spree

The IRS is Going on a Hiring Spree

  • March 18, 2022

The Internal Revenue Service is looking to hire more than 5,000 employees in three cities over the next few months, and another 5,000 employees over the course of the next year. It has also added voice and chatbots on some of its phone lines and its website as part of its larger efforts to boost taxpayer service and to catch up on an enormous backlog of work from the pandemic.

Staffing up in the coming months

The agency is hiring roughly 5,000 employees for its service centers in Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; and Ogden, Utah, in the coming months. The Kansas City hiring event will be March 18-19, followed by Austin on March 24-25 and Ogden on March 31-April 1.

Jobs may be offered on the spot; hires can look to head into the office within 30 to 45 days. Available positions range from temporary to permanent. Many are entry-level clerk and tax examiner positions in the IRS Wage and Investment Division, with no prior tax experience required. Pay, designated GS-02 to GS-09, starts at about $27,000.

“The IRS has opportunities for almost every profession, starting with these entry-level positions. Starting here today can guide you to your future career like it has done for me starting in high school,” said IRS taxpayer experience officer and Wage and Investment commissioner Ken Corbin in a statement.

The need is to address huge numbers of paper tax returns

The processing centers in the three cities are also part of new surge teams to “address the historically high inventories of paper tax returns,” the agency said.

The IRS looks to make 5,000 more new hires over the next year, part of its overall effort to recover from a pandemic-related work overload and decades of budget cuts.

In a joint statement, the IRS and U.S. Treasury said that the IRS workforce is the same size it was in 1970 and that in the first half of 2021, fewer than 15,000 IRS workers handled nearly 200 million calls.

Voice and chatbots have been added into the mix

Besides the extra hiring, the IRS has begun using voice and chatbots on two of its toll-free assistance lines and on IRS.gov, enabling taxpayers with simple payment or collection notice questions to get a quicker response. The bots, in English and Spanish, help with how to make one-time payments, FAQs, and collection notice clarification.

“These bots can help some people avoid lengthy phone delays for something that could be resolved on the spot,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement. An IRS customer service representative spends on average nearly 20 minutes with each taxpayer they help on a collection issue, the agency added.

Trying to tackle what looks like a chaotic filing season

The IRS has also expanded overtime for existing employees to help handle what it has feared will be a chaotic filing season.

So far this season, the agency has processed some 43.8 million returns and issued some 29.7 million refunds, ahead of where it was at this point last year.

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About the Author Larry Heinkel J.D. LL.M

Larry Heinkel is a tax and bankruptcy attorney with more than 38 years experience helping businesses and individuals, solve their state and federal tax problems. Mr. Heinkel has been extremely successful in representing his clients before IRS and DOR, and is known throughout Florida as an expert in tax problem resolution.

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