I write in response to the Jan. 27 letter to the editor titled “Don’t ditch IRS help line.”

We are hearing concerns like this across South Carolina and the nation, especially at tax time when people are looking to get their tax refund quickly.

I want to strongly reassure you the IRS doesn’t intend to walk away from providing live assistance whether on the phone or in-person. In fact, we’re working hard to free up more resources in these areas so it’s easier for you to get help.

Here’s the underlying issue. IRS funding had dropped dramatically since 2010, falling more than 7 percent. Last year, there were unacceptably long wait times on our phones, which were frustrating to taxpayers and to our employees.

It’s important to note the IRS expects to see better phone service this filing season after receiving a modest budget increase to specifically assist with taxpayer service, identity theft and cybersecurity issues. This tax season, we are adding more than 1,000 employees onto our phone lines.

While this will help, we anticipate our phones and offices will be crowded again. IRS employees remain committed to providing the best service possible. When people actually get through, our surveys show taxpayers are happy with the service they receive.

People in South Carolina have a right to quality service, and fully funding the IRS will help our employees provide taxpayers the service they deserve.

John Koskinen

Commissioner

Internal Revenue Service

K Street, North East

Washington, D.C.