IRS says expects better tax season service thanks to Inflation Reduct Act funding

The Treasury Department is rolling out new measures aimed at improving customer service as the IRS starts to accept 2022 federal income tax returns. Treasury

Department Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo told reporters on Friday that the agency has used funds from the Inflation Reduction Act to hire more customer service staff and

modernize decades-old technology. That includes 5,000 new customer service workers to answer calls, Adeyemo said. Just 13% of 173 million calls to the IRS were fielded by

live agents last year and 8% of calls were answered with automated assistance.MORE: Brace yourself for a smaller refund as COVID-era tax breaks expire A Treasury

Department official said the new hires mean the IRS has a "historic number" of workers ready to answer the phones this tax season, with the goal of reducing average wait times

from 30 minutes to 15 minutes. These workers will be trained and in place by Presidents Day weekend in late February, Adeyemo told reporters. The IRS also beefed up

staffing at taxpayer assistance centers across the country, with 700 new hires. Adeyemo said "meaningful progress" has been made to update technology. The IRS will now

let taxpayers respond to notices for document verification and other issues electronically rather than by mail. The IRS will continue to move towars automating the

scanning of millions of individual paper returns, as it currently inputs the information from paper returns manually one number at a time.