But when you're dealing with a bureaucratic megalomaniacal organization like the IRS, you have to do something to get their attention.
You might have heard the expression, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." Well, it fits in here like the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Now, you don't really have to be a jerk (usually), but it pays to be persistent and well-informed in the tax issue you are trying to resolve.
If you present your case in a cogent, rational manner, you're less likely to be given the never-ending run-around.
No. 1: Some entry level agents have no financial training
Quite often you'll find that IRS auditors and collection agents at the entry level don't have backgrounds in tax laws, IRS procedures and practices, or even finance.
Instead, people who get behind on their taxes are normally funneled to a specialized branch of the IRS called the Automated Collection System (ACS).
The word "automated" is a bit of a misnomer. ACS agents are tax collection specialists whose job is to get you to pay in full the tax you owe, plus any penalties and interest that's accrued. Even though many of these officers lack a financial education or training, it's crucial that you pay attention to what they say. They have the same authority as any other IRS agent, meaning they can garnish your wages, enforce bank levies and hit you with a tax lien.
Bottom line: do whatever you can to avoid being delinquent on your taxes so that you never have to worry about these pencil-pushing, pocket protector wearing IRS agents.