Elderly and disabled people cannot leave messages for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after the IRS fails to pick up the phone to serve them.
The National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent oversight organ within the IRS, detailed the agency’s phone practices in its 2014 Annual Report to Congress Wednesday.
“The IRS does not answer the phone at local offices and has even removed the option it once provided for taxpayers, including the elderly and disabled, to leave a message,” according to the report.
“If you are disabled or elderly and require special accommodations for service, please email us at…,” the Taxpayer Advocate had to state.
“Demographic research data show only 57 percent of adults over age 65 use the Internet compared with 87 percent of all adults. According to 2010 Census data, only 41 percent of those with a non-severe disability use the Internet and only 22 percent of those with a severe disability age 65 and older use the Internet. For those without Internet access, the only viable ways to reach the IRS are by phone, or in person,” the report stated.
The IRS declined on two ocassions to answer the Advocate’s question as to what it considers an IRS “helpline.”