Tax & Business Insights
Welcome to the
Campus at the
H _ _ _
Volume 18 Issue 2 -- March/April 2006
has, apparently without humor, taken to calling its facilities “campuses.”
The dictionary definition of a campus is: the grounds of a university,
college, or school, or . . . a grassy area.
To date we have seen nothing resembling a collegiate campus or collegial
attitude in dealing with the
campuses. Incidentally, the campus referred to in the title of this newsletter
is not the
, but a place far warmer.
One of the delightful new
campuses has been created in
. In order to matriculate in this
facility a taxpayer must owe over $100,000 in tax and to reach this
campus one must be initiated by a very long wait on the phone repeatedly
listening to a bad version of Mozart=s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
The first thing you are told as a practitioner trying to discuss a taxpayer
matter involving over $100,000 is to contact the Buffalo office at (800) 829-7650
and ask for extension 9625. If you dial that number, you do not get the correct
campus. Instead, you are routed to any of the many Automated Collection Service
) units throughout the
In trying to reach these friendly collegians, you may have to wait for 40
minutes, or longer, before someone from
answers the telephone. When you eventually get a person and ask for extension
9625, it is very likely that the
employee you are speaking with will either not recognize extension 9625, refuse
to help, or simply hang up.
In trying to contact the
campus we have received responses from the
units such as, “I don=t know what you
are talking about,” “I=ve never heard of the
unit,” or “I don’t know what extension 9625 is.” Sometimes it takes
multiple calls to find someone who is aware of the
campus and can transfer you to the
unit, whereupon there may be another 40 minute wait until you can speak with
Unfortunately, as with
, the Buffalo
employees cannot be called directly. If
you speak with a particular person at the Buffalo
you will not be able to speak with that person again.
One of the many
mysteries is that some
offices in the backwaters of the
may have direct lines, but the
campus which is supposed to be handling only large, and presumably important,
cases does not.
This means that no matter how complicated the matter, each time one calls the
entire matter must be explained to a different
employee. Furthermore there is no
correlation between the size of the tax debt and the experience or
qualifications of the
Buffalo collegians. Most of them
are on par with, or worse than, the average
It is important that when you first start the conversation, be sure to get
the individual’s name and employee identification (ID) number. If you have an
unfortunate experience (all too common), it is impossible to complain about
someone if you do not know the person’s name or ID number. In the old days,
employees would refuse to divulge their name and number. Now, they are required
to do so, and they regularly do.
Don=t believe that
is rude only to the public and practitioners.
It is not at all unusual to talk with senior
employees (off the record of course) who will confirm the material in this
newsletter. In fact,
supervisors and seasoned employees tell The Tax & Business Professionals
that they experience the same type of difficulty practitioners do, namely
hang‑ups, false leads, and other miscommunications.
Another ruse, particularly with the
offices on the west coast, is to deny that a power of attorney is on file. We
have had occasions where we have been told there was no power of attorney on
file, only to call back and reach a different
representative who acknowledges that there is a valid power of attorney on
’s new campus at Buffalo has created a new dimension and meaning for the word
“buffaloed,” which used to mean only bewildered or baffled. Now it also
stands for being treated rudely over a long period of time in an ineffectual
manner. Representing a client who
owes more than $100,000 and who has become enrolled at the university campus of
will have unfortunate and debilitating results. As a representative for such an
individual or business, you will find that it is frustrating and time consuming.
The inconveniences created by
in general, and Buffalo in particular, are enough almost to deny taxpayers the
right to representation. With good reason, many professionals loathe dealing
Welcome to the
_ _ _, where you will not get a warm welcome but you will probably become very
hot with anger.
By Tax and Business Professionals, Inc.
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