IRS requiring appointments at local offices

The line outside the Tampa IRS office on Thursday morning.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The lines winding outside of local IRS offices may be gone, but some people say they’re still dealing with problems.  Last week, our 8 On Your Side investigators showed you how people seeking help at the Tampa IRS office have been stranded in long lines. The agency has been promising to send more employees to help fix the problem.

“The last time I was here, the line was all the way back to that sign,” said Tierra Cohen, who was at the office Thursday to get some help with her taxes.

The IRS promised that relief was on the way with more staff. The agency also made another change; beginning Thursday, March 17, the IRS office is only taking people by appointment.

“The IRS moved to an appointment service at this office as part of an ongoing effort to eliminate lines and reduce frustration for taxpayers with more complex tax matters that require in-person tax help,” said the IRS in a news release.

News Channel 8 stopped by a couple times on Thursday to see how things were going at the Tampa IRS office.

During our first stop in the morning, there was a line of people outside, waiting to get help. We returned early in the afternoon and the line was gone.

“I expected a line to be all the way around the corner usually. It usually is,” said Bridget Ortiz.

Even though the line was gone, 8 On Your Side found there are still headaches at the IRS office.

“They’re telling me I have to come back and make an appointment, just to get my W2 form,” said James Bryant.

Many of the people we spoke with didn’t know they had to set up appointments. Andrea Mallard arrived two hours before the office even opened, prepared to wait.

“I brought everything I needed to just sit here all day,” she said. Mallard lucked out and got an appointment by calling. I was able to walk in ahead of everybody, and go into that appointment.”

Those who did schedule an appointment were pleased with the change. “I think it’s much easier, rather than standing outside in lines. I have kids with me,” said Cohen.

Before calling, however, taxpayers are encouraged to visit IRS.gov to see if their answer is available on the IRS website.

Taxpayers who need one-on-one tax help, in person, should call 1-844-545-5640 to schedule an appointment.

For more information log onto IRS.gov

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