In the run up to Tax Day, the IRS is so strapped for cash that customers have little chance of getting assistance when they approach the agency for help.
According to The Washington Post
, just four out of 10 callers to the agency's toll-free helpline are able to talk to a person and Commissioner John Koskinen has admitted that the customer service levels are "abysmal."
If a caller is successful in reaching someone at the agency, they are often refused specific assistance beyond being directed to look online for information.
Officials estimate that $2 billion revenue will go uncollected due to staff shortages.
Since 2010, Republicans have cut the agency's budget by $1.2 billion or a total of roughly 17 percent.
"We deliberately lowered IRS funding to a level that will make the IRS think twice about what you're doing and why you're doing it," Florida GOP Rep. Ander Crenshaw said at a hearing last month.
At the same time as absorbing cuts, the agency has had more responsibility in administering the tax elements of Obamacare.
"At this point it is a little frustrating when people say, 'We keep cutting your budget so you'll be more efficient,'" Koskinen said, according to the Post.
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