Did You Know The IRS Is Using Chatbots

The IRS recently announced they are going to expand their use of chatbot technology to help quickly answer basic questions for people receiving notices about possibly underreporting their taxes.

The new chatbot feature will assist taxpayers who receive notices CP2000, CP2501, and CP3219A. These notices inform taxpayers that the IRS received information (1099s, etc.) from third parties that doesn’t match the information taxpayers reported on their income tax returns. This technology expansion is supported through the Inflation Reduction Act funding to transform the IRS and improve services to help taxpayers.

IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel had a lot to say on the matter, making it sound all sunshine and flowers. “Through our transformation efforts, we are working to expand technologies to help taxpayers and tax professionals interact with us in the ways they prefer, including expanded digital, phone, and in-person assistance options,” said Werfel. He added, “We understand receiving a notice from the IRS can be concerning, and people frequently have questions. The use of chatbots in call centers has emerged as an effective practice in both the private and public sectors, making it easier for people to quickly get basic information to resolve their issues and avoid wait times on the phone. Deploying chatbots at the IRS call center helps taxpayers get their issues resolved quicker, and it helps free up valuable phone resources for other taxpayers with questions on more complex issues.”

The oxymoron here is that if the same PPL/ACS personnel who currently answer questions from the public and tax professionals are the same people feeding information to the chatbots, we (and the American taxpayer) are in big- time trouble. I speak to dozens of Roz Strategies members every month, and one of the biggest challenges I hear is that the inconsistent — and many times straight-up incorrect — information they’re getting from the IRS is mind- boggling, even on basic questions.

Even though the IRS has hired over 10,000 (and is continuing to rapidly hire more) new employees, they are not receiving proper training, if any training at all. This leads me to give you some advice: When speaking to IRS agents from ACS or PPL, and you KNOW the answer you are receiving is wrong, don’t even try to argue. It will get you nowhere, and you’ll be that much more frustrated. Do what I did and what so many of our members do: Politely disconnect the call, and call again and again until you get someone with more experience who knows what they’re doing and follows their own guidelines as outlined in the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM).

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