Taxpayers pay sky-high costs for subpar service at call centers — the ones that answer questions to the Internal Revenue Service about how much of one's income has to be forked over to the government.

It costs the government $42 for every call attendants at the IRS hotline answer. The calls average 12.5 minutes. The $42 figure was a nearly one-third increase over the prior year.

There are 6,900 full-time employees dedicated to answering such calls.

Despite the cost and manpower, "more than a third of calls ended with the taxpayer hanging up, receiving a busy signal, or being disconnected before reaching an assister," according to the Government Accountability Office.

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