No Answer at IRS for Hearing and Speech Impaired

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A government watchdog says fewer than one in
10 callers were able to get help this tax season when they called an Internal Revenue Service help line for people with speech or hearing impairments.

Inspector General J. Russell George said overall phone service by the IRS improved during the 2010 tax season. But phone service for speech- or hearing-impaired callers declined.

More than 350,000 people called the IRS help line for people with speech or hearing impairments during tax season. Only 339 reached a real person. Some others received automated help. The report said that a total of about 9 percent were served.

The IRS says many people mistakenly call the line and hang up once they realize it is for people with hearing or speech impairments. Nevertheless, the agency said it plans to improve its services for 2011.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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