IRS First Impressions

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I always like to read about first-time IRS experiences.  The taxpayer usually expresses surprise — either that the IRS is “nicer” or “meaner” than previously thought.  Of course, the IRS is neither nice nor mean.  It is a massive agency run by thousands of employees, any one of whom may be nice or mean, polite or rude, skilled or utterly incompetent.  And, for better or worse, impressions of the IRS as a whole are often formed based on interactions with one or two of its representatives.

IRS first impressions are also colored by the nature of the contact: is the taxpayer calling to request account transcripts, to report identity theft, to check the status of a refund, to try to resolve a back tax debt, or to check on the status of an Offer in Compromise?  Even thought IRS personnel are trained to be cordial regardless of the circumstances, when taxes are owed or tax returns are missing, it’s naturally harder to be “nice.”

Here are a couple first impression stories that you might like:

1. Micki Bare mostly has a hard time finding her local IRS walk-in office

2. Rev. James Snyder talks affectionately about his first IRS love letter