In 2014, the IRS shortened the timeframe in which customer service representatives would answer basic domestic tax law questions to between January and April. This decision was based upon limited resources and declining demand for this type of information, except in the case of employment taxes, heavy highway vehicle use tax, the Affordable Care Act and injured spouse.
The National Public Liaison's analysis produced data showing that more than 90% of taxpayers were using online and/or software services to file their tax returns and, during the filing season most taxpayers only needed answers to basic tax law questions like filing status, dependents, exemptions, Earned Income Tax Credit, deductions, and taxable income.
After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed, the IRS decided to answer domestic tax law questions year-round for 2018 and 2019. However, the NPL believes that restoring tax law questions as in-scope year-round is aligned with the spirit of the Taxpayer First Act and NPL efforts to improve the taxpayer's customer experience. With those points in mind, as of October 1, 2019, the NPL will permanently restore the policy on answering in-scope tax law questions throughout the year.