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  • shaybachelder

Call to IRS - June 26th 2024

I have a client who is in a payment plan with the IRS, and has started receiving notices (CP 523 to be precise) that says “notice of intent to levy” “Intent to terminate your installment agreement. Payment due immediately $1000.”

It’s a very intimidating looking letter, it would definitely stress me out to get a letter like this in the mail. Since I still have power of attorney on file for these clients of mine, I receive copies of the same notices that they do. I reached out to them to make sure everything was OK and inquire as to why they had fallen behind in their payments.

The taxpayer wrote me back immediately and said that they had not fallen behind. She said she had received a notice of failure to pay last month and had called the IRS on May 20th. She waited two hours before a representative was available. After 45 minutes with the IRS, the agent assured her it was taken care of. He claimed the issue was that she was paying the debt under her Social Security number instead of her husbands, who was listed first on the tax return.

She called again on Friday when she received the most recent certified letters. Waited on hold for two hours and three minutes and then a recording came on and said no one was available to help and disconnected her. She shared how frustrating of an experience that has been, especially when they are doing everything agreed-upon and haven’t actually defaulted.

They made $3500 in payments since January and the IRS is claiming they are not paying at all and what is worse, not providing any way for the taxpayer to get a hold of them to resolve the issue.

She can log into her IRS account and see the payments, they just aren’t being applied properly and there is no one available to help. Yet they will send these threatening, stressful letters. It’s BS in my opinion… pardon my language.

I offered to call on her behalf. I’m not charging her for this time, but I am going to keep track of how much time it takes me to try to get in touch with someone that can help resolve this issue.

I called the practitioner priority service line this morning at 10:20 AM and my first attempt resulted in a pre-recorded message that says due to extremely high volume, no one is available in the topic you requested. Please try at a later time.

I hung up and called back right away. This time the automated menu system wouldn’t recognize my voice or when I hit any keys - it just circled in a loop and then eventually said it was unable to assist at this time. I am now on my third attempt at the practitioner priority line.

10:27am actually got through the system and was able to request a call back instead of waiting on hold. Automated system took less than three minutes this time and estimated callback time is 19 minutes.

10:47am Call back from IRS, right on time, but then sat in hold for another few minutes waiting for Ms. Chodis ID#1003279520 to come on the line to assist. She gathered the info to verify my Power of Attorney quickly, which I appreciated and she genuinly seemed kinder (and much younger) than the agents I usually speak with when calling the IRS.

She said that the account showed as current as of today but asked if she could put me on a 5-7 minute hold while she researched more.

Upon return, she said that the issue was triggered by the missed May payment but 4 months of payments were not showing on the account. Then she informed me that “the system we would use to move those payments is down” and there is no anticipated date of it being fixed. She did say she could open an investigation to have the payments moved when the system is back up, but that that would be at least 30 days.

Before she put me on hold to start the investigation, I asked if she had my number in case we were to get disconnected and she said “Unfortunately, due to our current call volume we would not be able to call you back if we get disconnected.”

IRS this is a HUGE flaw in your system. A system that regularly disconnects people after hours on hold. There is no reason why customer service agents should be restricted from calling taxpayers and professional back if the call is disconnected. It is just horrible customer service to make us call back and start the frustrating process all over again.

Fortunately, we did not get disconnected and she did come back on the line after about seven or eight minutes and say that she was able to open an investigation, but again reiterated that it would be a minimum of 30 days before anything would possibly be visible on the account. I asked if my client would continue to get these notices of intent to levy, and she said that those letters were not set to generate in her system, but she could not guarantee that the client wouldn't get more letters in the future.

As a solution in the meantime, she did recommend that the taxpayer make her payments under the spouses primary Social Security number. Overall, this issue took less than anhour to resolve in total which is pretty good compared to many of the calls I have had to make IRS.

I had this helpful and kind lady on the line, and coincidentally I had another client who also has a similar issue. She filed jointly with her husband for 2023 and paid the balance due under her Social Security number and is now getting notices from the IRS saying the balance is past due and assessing interest and penalties.

She also tried calling on her own behalf. Of course there was no phone number in the letter she received, but she called the main IRS phone number and no one was available to help her, which is why she reached out to me.

Since I had what is called “checkbox authority” on her 2023 tax return, I was able to access the account with the agent, even though I don’t have power of attorney on file. The checkbox authority doesn’t allow me much access, but it was enough for her to open a similar investigation on behalf of this client to have her payment properly applied once the system is back up and operating.

I asked if there was another phone number or a way that my client could get in contact with IRS to confirm this information that she was giving me, but the only phone number she was able to provide was the 1-800-829-1040 which we all know has an incredibly low rate of actually being answered by a real person and when that does happen, it’s usually at least a two hour wait.

So…a frustrating experience for all parties. Lots of wasted time. I will again reiterate my intentions in writing about these experiences is educate the public about the situation and to hopefully inspire change within the system.

Taxes are, for many of us, our largest expense in life. Add to that the complicated nature of the tax code, the confusing letters from IRS, and the inability to contact a real person in a timely manner to resolve issues (issues that often aren’t even due to errors on the part of the taxpayer) - something needs to change.

If you have an experience you would like to share regarding contacting or communicating with IRS, I would love to hear about it and possibly share it here if you are comfortable with that. Feel free to email me at

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