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Grothman Investigates Poor Customer Service at IRS

Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) today questioned government officials about the failure of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide adequate customer service during a House Oversight and Government Reform joint hearing with the Subcommittee on Healthcare, Benefits and Administrative Rules and the Subcommittee on Government Operations.

IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement John Dalrymple, Assistant Inspector General, Returns Processing and Account Services for the Treasury General for Tax Administration Russell Martin and Acting Director for Strategic Issues at the U.S. Government Accountability Office Jessica Lucas-Judy testified at the hearing.

Excerpts of Grothman’s Remarks

“Years ago, I used to do taxes […and] I felt that when you talked to the guys on the phone, they weren’t always the sharpest and didn’t know their own laws […] Do you monitor the quality of your folks? Do you have an opinion to if your folks know what the law is?

“Has [getting the customer the right answer] improved over time? How long have you been monitoring it?

“Is the amount that can be spent traveling by employees – do you keep track of that? What is your travel policy for your people when they get around?

“Sometimes I think when congressmen propose things, they don’t think about how it will look to the IRS, who has to deal with it. Like someone once came up with the Earned Income Tax Credit and apparently didn’t think of the fact that if you fill out a form and get a $5,000 check, a lot of people take a crack at it - which is why the fraud is so high. Do you have any comments on the Earned Income Tax Credit, or are there any other parts of the tax forms that you feel invites cheating?

Click here to view Grothman’s full remarks.


The IRS has provided poor customer service over the last several tax seasons. It attributes this to a lack of resources.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the TaxPayer Advocate identified several areas where the IRS could better direct its existing resources to provide a higher quality customer service experience.

It’s been stressed to the IRS that it needs to provide better face-to-face and telephone service to taxpayers.


U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman is serving his second term representing Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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