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New IRS bots available to help resolve tax payment notices

Unsplash+ in collaboration with Philip Oroni

Get ready fellow taxpayers. Our robot tax overlords are here. Or rather, getting more here.

The Internal Revenue Service began using artificial intelligence (AI) bots last year to help taxpayers complete some tax tasks, such as setting up a payment plan. Today, the agency announced that it is expanding its use of chatbots to help answer some tax notice questions.

Specifically, the technology should help quickly answer basic questions for people who get notices about possibly underreporting their taxes. Those are CP2000, CP2501, and CP3219A mailings that tell taxpayers the information the IRS received from third parties doesn't match what they reported on their tax filings.

At least one tax professional gives the notices bot a qualified thumbs up. Catharine, a fellow Austinite and #TaxTwitter member on the former bird site, notes that it still sent her to another step, but the wait time was less. Kudos to the IRS for trying.

And I second Catharine's #FundtheIRS hashtag to get this and all sorts of tax help more up to speed.

Next tax AI step: This notice chatbot builds on the success of the technology employed by the IRS in 2022.

The IRS says those voice and chatbot assistance tools, both in English and Spanish, have helped more than 13 million taxpayers avoid wait times by resolving their tax issues, including setting up roughly $151 million in payment agreements.

The chatbot simulates human interaction with taxpayers through a web or mobile app on a computer or mobile screen, responding to questions or requests in a chat feature.

The new IRS notice chatbot is available to help taxpayers with questions such as —

  • What to do if they received a notice.
  • What to do if they need more time to respond to a notice.
  • How to find out if the IRS received their response.

At the end of the conversation, taxpayers can press the "representative" button if they wish to talk to a real live IRS staffer.

More tax AI on the way: If you don't get a notice, that's good. But if you're disappointed because you want jump right into the tax future and use IRS AI, be patient.

The IRS plans to continue additional bot technology features in the future to assist taxpayers with more complex issues.

"Through our transformation efforts, we are working to expand technologies to help taxpayers and tax professionals interact with us in the ways they prefer, including expanded digital, phone and in-person assistance options," said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.

"Deploying chatbots at the IRS call center helps taxpayers get their issues resolved quicker, and it helps free up valuable phone resources for other taxpayers with questions on more complex issues," added Werfel.

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