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Letter: Local IRS office shows frustrating inefficiency


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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: John Freed

Columbus

Received: Feb. 3

A visit to the local IRS office today made me notice just a few of the frustrating inefficiencies of our federal government. I arrived at the 8:30 a.m. opening time so as to avoid a long wait. Unfortunately, three other people beat me to the door. I thought, no problem, since all I needed were some 1099 forms, no advice or consultation. And there were two people to service this small group.

I try to be patient, but by 8:45, no numbers had been called. Finally, the first customer had to make a tax payment; this should be simple, right? Fifteen minutes later, after filling out a feedback survey, he was done. The next fellow wanted his tax return prepared.

After a 10-minute explanation about how the tax return preparations were only done Wednesday and Thursday, the person left after getting a survey card. To him, the IRS employee insisted the preparation times were posted on the door to avoid people waiting for their free preparation. (This was actually posted on an interior wall, not on the door). The next couple had a simple question and was out in 15 minutes.

Finally, I got my turn to request a few 1099 forms that were not available in the racks with the rest of the free forms. I asked why these forms were not available to the general population. The response was they were afraid that too many of these forms would be taken by individuals at one time. I cannot imagine the 1099 form being in such high demand that people would take these in excess.

Even if someone took a couple more than they needed, are we not paying taxes enough for them to supply us with a form or two? I mean, it is to comply with the law, right? Most forms are available online, 1040, schedules, even W-2 employer forms, but not 1099s. After waiting for 50 minutes, I finally got what I came for. I got my survey card, too. I’m taking it home to fill out and return another day.

This is our government system at work. If this performance were in private industry, they just wouldn’t last long.

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