Taxpayers: Prepare for Frustration When Dealing With the Automated Collection System

Owing tax debt or an unfiled tax return to the IRS is often a stressful experience. Unfortunately, taxpayers may find that their first contact from the IRS regarding the unfulfilled obligation is frustrating as well. Many taxpayers will be contacted by the Automated Collection System (ACS). Taxpayers can prepare themselves for a less-than-pleasant process as they attempt to resolve their tax debt through this system.

How the Automated Collection System Is Frustrating for Taxpayers

So, what’s so bad about the Automated Collection System? Taxpayers who have dealt with the ACS have experienced a variety of frustrations, including:

  • Many ACS agents are not as familiar with the substantive tax laws as the IRS’s Revenue Agents. Revenue Agents, however, are typically reserved for cases involving a higher amount of debt or a specific type of tax debt.
  • Taxpayers trying to get through to an agent at the ACS may have to wait for 45 minutes or longer. The phone lines connected to the ACS are notoriously busy. This could leave taxpayers waiting for long periods just to be able to speak to someone about a tax problem.
  • Many ACS agents are unfamiliar with the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights. This is important to note, because it means that taxpayers will need to be their own advocate when it comes to protecting their legal rights when dealing with a tax debt or unfiled tax return.
  • Each time you contact the ACS you will speak with a different agent. This can be frustrating since there is a lack of continuity during the process. You may find yourself having to repeat questions and information and provide personal information over and over.
  • Since they answer multiple telephone calls daily with regard to tax issues, many ACS agents treat taxpayers like just another number rather than individual people with unique tax issues. In some cases, the taxpayer may find his experience dealing with the ACS agents as borderline abusive or threatening.

The good news for taxpayers is that there is a special hotline that can be used when a taxpayer is represented by an attorney. We have helped many clients resolve their tax debt after contact by an Automated Collection System agent. Learn more about their experiences by checking out our client testimonials today.

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