IRS using artificial intelligence

The IRS revealed a new artificial intelligence system to reduce wait times to resolve simple tasks, and improve customer service.

The IRS is expanding the phone bot with artificial intelligence. The new phone bot can handle simple issues, freeing human operators for more complex matters. The previous unverified phone bot could only answer basic questions and enabled callers to set up one-time payments.

IRS officials said their new technology enables the new phone system to authenticate callers by asking them basic questions. Their new system can understand complete and natural ways of speaking.

"For the first time in 160 years, this agency is able to successfully interact with a taxpayer using artificial intelligence to access their account and resolve it, in certain situations, without any wait on hold," said IRS Deputy Commissioner Darren Guillot.

Taxpayers who receive a mailed letter stating they owe money can use an ID number from the letter to call in and take advantage of the improved system.

The IRS is sending staggered letters to over 3 million letters to taxpayers with a tax liability. Staggering the letters will better enable callers to use the new system.

The new bot's authentication capability enables a caller to access their IRS account. The callers can then set up a payment plan with the bot without spending time on hold waiting to speak to an IRS employee.

In addition to the payment lines, voice bots help people who call the Economic Impact Payment (stimulus) line with general procedural responses to FAQs. The IRS also added voice bots for the Advance Child Tax Credit line in February for callers who need help reconciling their 2021 tax return credits.

Treasury Department Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo said that last year the IRS received more than 200 million calls and only had 15,000 employees to answer those calls.

Callers still have the option to speak with an employee for additional support.

Callers who owe less than $25,000 can typically choose the monthly amount they will commit to paying. The artificial intelligence system computes the amount to determine whether it falls within the agency's deadline for repayment.

"Service is part of our name," said Darren Guillot. "This is all about the taxpayer experience and helping customers."

Not all callers will be able to take advantage of the no-wait time phone bots. The bots are limited to certain types of calls.

Currently, the bot operates in English and Spanish. The IRS is hoping to expand its language offerings in the future.

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David Zubler is a tax accountant and Enrolled Agent in East Tennessee, providing tax strategies and representing clients before the IRS and has over 25 years of tax experience. He is the author of six tax books and has shared tax advice on national TV. He is the founder and president of Your Tax Care. The company provides business and tax education, including David’s one-minute tax tip radio recordings at YourTaxCare.com. David can be reached at (865) 363-3019 or contacted by email at david@yourtaxcare.com.