Spanberger to IRS: Resume customer service operations via telework
Spanberger, D-Va., is also pushing for answers about the unacceptable lack of customer service resources available to Americans looking for answers about their payment status.
Following the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, millions of Americans have received economic impact payments. However, while the IRS’ Get My Payment tool was created to provide timely information on the status of these payments, this tool has been an unhelpful and unusable resource for many Americans.
Unfortunately, there is no additional resource for those individuals receiving no information from the Get My Payment tool, as the IRS has not instituted teleworking operations for its customer service representatives since the coronavirus pandemic began.
In a letter sent to IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig, Spanberger led 10 of her colleagues in outlining this problem and asking the IRS to provide its rationale for the lack of telework operations.
“Although the Get My Payment tool was created to provide information on the status of these economic impact payments, this tool has been an unusable resource for many of our constituents,” said Spanberger and her colleagues. “Moreover, taxpayers experiencing problems with this tool are not able to call and talk to IRS customer service representatives about any of the issues they are experiencing. IRS phone lines supported by customer service representatives are not staffed at this time, as these workers have been asked to stay home.”
Spanberger and her colleagues called on the IRS to share information to Congress about any obstacles it’s facing in expanding telework capabilities, particularly for its customer service representatives. Spanberger and her colleagues also called on the IRS to provide its plan for addressing the growing backlog of work that has piled up for its employees.
“Protecting workers by not having them report to their offices is entirely appropriate and acceptable. However, the inability of a U.S. Federal Agency to coordinate call center telework for customer service representatives is not,” the letter continues. “We call on the IRS to share information to Congress as to the obstacles they are facing in facilitating telework, particularly for customer service representatives. If this inability to engage in telework is an active choice, we ask the agency to provide their rationale for this choice. We also call on the IRS to provide their plan to address the building backlog of work that is not being done due to the inability to telework, including the processing of taxes filed on paper and the distribution of tax refunds.”