What is IRS Collections all about?

For the past 10 years or so…well, for just about as long as I have been dealing with the IRS collections agency on a professional level, yeah, I’ve made a few calls to the IRS. Let me tell you something that will not surprise you: The IRS’ phone system is annoying. Case in point: the IRS hold prompt says, “please hold while we assist other customers“. Every time I heard that prompt I would think to myself “Oh no Mr. IRS, we are not your customers, we are your captives!”

IRS collections doesn’t actually think we are customers, do they?

Oh God, they do.

As I was reading the latest Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) IRS collections report I saw what IRS collections really thinks of us, as plain as the day is long:

“TIGTA recommended that the IRS ensure that customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction measures are included in all performance reports.  The IRS should also establish a performance measure and target for each operational objective.”

I have a few bullet points for the IRS collections agency:

  • We are not your customers.
  • No no no. Customers get choices.
  • Taxpayers get hammered. Again and again.
  • Or to put it more precisely: You, IRS collections, consume us.
  • In fact, IRS collections, you, you are the consumer. We are the producers.
  • We will do whatever it is you tell us to do to make you go away.
  • Please go away.

BTW — my sympathies to IRS collections employees. This is by no means directed at you. You know full well the nonsense: Our current “leadership” furloughs IRS employees, yet expects IRS collections metrics to improve, all while increasing the workloads, and using the report mentioned above as misplaced guidance.