OC Taxpayers Wait for Hours to Speak With IRS Agents

By Vikki Vargas and Julie Brayton
|  Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013  |  Updated 11:11 PM PDT
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Petra Prado was in line for the second day trying to get copies of old W-2 forms. After four hours, she made it to the front door, but there was still a line inside. IRS officials say there is a peace of mind that comes with speaking to an agent in person, but say sometimes going online or calling the office are easier options. Vikki Vargas reports on April 10, 2013.

Petra Prado was in line for the second day trying to get copies of old W-2 forms. After four hours, she made it to the front door, but there was still a line inside. IRS officials say there is a peace of mind that comes with speaking to an agent in person, but say sometimes going online or calling the office are easier options. Vikki Vargas reports on April 10, 2013.

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With the tax deadline fast approaching, some filers are waiting in line for hours just to get into an IRS office.

The line outside an Orange County IRS office started forming at 7 a.m. Wednesday and initially stretched out onto the blacktop of the parking lot.

"Almost three hours," Hein Pham said, describing the wait.

Petra Prado was in line for the second day trying to get copies of old W-2 forms.

"I thought they should have it online, but I looked and we tried calling and they said, IRS, you have to be here," Prado said.

Four hours later, she made it to the front door, but the wait wasn't over. There was still quite a crowd inside.

There are eight agents in the Orange County office. Four are allowed to go to lunch at the same time, which adds to the backup.

IRS officials say it takes 90 minutes to answer the average tax question in person.

"Knowing that the individual is speaking with them eye to eye, there's a comfort level there, whereas you don't get over the phone or the web," IRS manager Rudy Borbon said.

But sometimes the phone, 1-800-829-1040, or the web could be the best alternative to waiting in line.

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