TAMPA (FOX 13) - Internal Revenue Service cutbacks are translating into headaches for many trying to file their returns as the April 18 deadline draws closer.
Many taxpayers are facing long lines at their local IRS offices. To ensure they will be seen by an IRS assistor, some people are arriving at the Tampa office as early as 2:00 in the morning.
FOX 13 spoke with some folks who waited in line for six to eight hours on Tuesday, only to be turned away because there wasn't enough room or time for them to be seen.
Most of the people we spoke with say they need to show an IRS employee proof of their identity, or request a new pin number. Without it, they can't file.
Identity theft last year was a big problem for the IRS. The agency says cyber criminals accessed as many as 724,000 taxpayer accounts, potentially stealing social security numbers and other sensitive information.
IRS employees say these long lines are expected, especially as the April deadline approaches.
The IRS issued the following statement Wednesday:
“It is not unusual for some IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) to have long wait lines during the busy tax filing season. As the April 18 filing deadline approaches, wait times may increase at IRS TACs as well as on the IRS toll-free tax assistance line. Because limited resources have impacted some IRS services, the IRS reminds taxpayers that they can get answers to many of their tax questions, tax forms and publications and much more by visiting IRS.gov. Often taxpayers will find that a visit to an IRS office isn't necessary and may find it more convenient to visit IRS.gov to get the tax help they need.”
For more information, visit the IRS website at IRS.gov.