Long waits vex local IRS customers

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Limited resources are to blame for lines that wrapped outside the Internal Revenue Service building off Metro Parkway and Colonial Boulevard, an IRS spokesperson said Tuesday.

The early months of a year are a busy time for the bureau, IRS said. Local customers experienced the brunt of that Tuesday when they were turned away from services.

People who were able to get a ticket in line were seen leaving the building for breaks. A line began forming around 6 a.m. but by 11 a.m. IRS employees were turning customers away.

Some people who needed to make payments or retrieve copies of their tax documents were forced to rethink their plans. John Knorr was waiting outside the building when he said tickets ran out.

“It’s chaos,” he said. “They are not giving any more tickets out, so nobody will be able to talk to anybody today.”

One woman said she was disappointed with the building rules.

“There were many people with children,” she said. “You are not allowed to drink. You are not allowed to eat and with all those babies it’s really very, very sad that they can’t provide a better service.”

While Knorr described inside as chaotic, the situation outside was not improved.

“There’s no room for people to sit down outside,” he said.

The IRS suggested that customers look for help online before waiting in lines at a local office. The agency said its phone lines are just as busy.


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