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Congressman Biggs Sends Letter to IRS about Poor Taxpayer Service during COVID-19

May 22, 2020
Press Release

GILBERT, ARIZONA – Today, Congressman Andy Biggs sent a letter to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig expressing grave concerns about poor taxpayer services since the coronavirus crisis began. He issued the following statement:

“As I hear inspiring stories from across my district about hard-working Arizonans overcoming unprecedented challenges to thrive in the face of the coronavirus, I am extraordinarily disappointed that the IRS has failed to follow suit. Two months into the COVID crisis, the IRS still has not figured out a way to promptly return phone calls or finish processing paper refunds. Given the billions of dollars East Valley residents are forced to fork over to the IRS each year, these are inexcusable shortcomings.  I demand to know how Commissioner Rettig intends to improve taxpayer services in the coming days and weeks.”

Read the letter below:

Mr. Charles Rettig
Commissioner
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20224

Dear Commissioner Rettig:

I write to express the concern that some of my constituents have recently been unable to contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about 2019 tax refunds, the Economic Impact Payment, and other pressing matters.

We are currently living in unprecedented times.  There are now nearly 40 million unemployed Americans, and many millions more are working remotely.  I have learned that among those in the latter category are over 10,000 IRS employees, many of whom normally work in the Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC), which are currently closed in Arizona and everywhere else in the nation. 

If these IRS employees were continuing to provide exemplary remote services to my constituents, then the closure of the physical TACs would be slightly easier to accept.  Unfortunately, this has not been the case.  During these difficult times, my constituents do not have the luxury of waiting days for simple answers about the status of their filings, nor should they receive confusing or inconsistent guidance when they do finally receive responses.  Yet I have heard such complaints on numerous occasions.    

I am also profoundly disappointed that the IRS has not yet set a date by which it intends to finish processing paper returns.  A number of my constituents still prefer this method of filing, and many of these individuals are hoping to receive a refund as soon as possible.  Considering we are now more than two months into the coronavirus crisis, it is difficult for me to understand why the IRS has not already found ways to safely transport and process at least a substantial portion of these returns. 

For better or worse, the IRS provides an essential service.  If American citizens are asked to sacrifice some of their God-given liberty in the form of taxation, they should at least be granted the courtesy of prompt assistance when either a problem arises or a potential benefit is available. 

I hope to hear promptly from your office about how you intend to improve taxpayer services in the immediate future.  

Sincerely,

Andy Biggs
Member of Congress