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Finances & Money Taxes

Please increase IRS “hold music” funding

I just got off the phone with the IRS because I need to amend my return, and I had a question about interest and penalties. I got some more 1099-INT forms from Stacie’s bank back home after we filed our original return, so I need to file a 1040X (amended federal return).

Starting back in April, because I was an idiot when we filed our 2007 tax return, I had to sit on hold with the IRS for many hours. I learned something then:

The IRS rotates 2 classical songs over and over.

I’m not against classical music, but I’m against how they play them. One of the songs goes from a soft whisper up to an ear-piercing crescendo that no volume button could subdue. I can’t use my speakerphone while on hold at work because even at the quietest setting, people can hear the music 2 doors down. And if I use my headset, I have to hold the phone behind my ear, and hope that I hear when an IRS worker finally picks up the line.

So when I finally resolved my initial problems with my tax return, I figured I wouldn’t have to deal with the music again. But today, I finally got my butt around to calling them before sending in my 1040X (and the accompanying check) to be sure I did it right. Unfortunately for me, people are still bogging down the lines asking about their tax rebates. So I had to sit on hold for 45 minutes for a 5 minute conversation. Luckily, my officemate wasn’t in today so I could close the door and still use the speakerphone.

So please contact your congressman to increase the IRS’ budget to “hold music”. Preferably something in the medium volume range. Thank you.

About the author

Clever Dude

14 Comments

  • That’s really funny. You would think they would have some voice explaining how you can access faq’s or other info on the IRS website. Or, maybe the government could make some money selling adspots while you wait:)

  • You think YOU have it bad? What if you were a CPA, having to sit on hold with the IRS for hours on end, day after day, month after month, year after year. And no, they haven’t changed the music in ten years that I know of!

    That was one of the reasons I went and got myself a job that didn’t require me to sit on hold with the IRS. I was dreaming it in my sleep!

  • There are a lot of businesses that allow you to leave a call-back number. You may not get your answer as quick (I haven’t tested this), but you don’t have to waste so much time, they call you, and you get a real person right away!

    However, I don’t think the CRA (the Canadian version of the IRS) has implemented this yet…. I don’t remember what their hold music sounds like, thankfully I don’t have to call there too often.

  • I have to say, be careful what you wish for. At a former job, we requested that the wait music for our conference call be changed from the same classical song it had been for years.

    What we got instead? I don’t even have the words. Actually, I have two: xylophone and keytar. Sigh. Thanks for the laugh!

  • OMG! You feel my pain. I’m on hold right now (have been for 30 minutes).

    This is so true:

    “One of the songs goes from a soft whisper up to an ear-piercing crescendo that no volume button could subdue. I can’t use my speakerphone while on hold at work because even at the quietest setting, people can hear the music 2 doors down. ”

    It’s the most annoying thing ever

  • OH YES MOST DEFINITELY LOL ONLY 15 MINUTES IN NOW IM SHIVERING WITH EXCITEMENT FOR THE NEXT HOUR I GET TO LISTEN TO THIS MUSIC. ATLEAST THERE ARE SOME FUNNY WEBSITES TO READ ABOUT OTHERS WITH THE SAME ISSUES

    OUR REPRESENTATIVES ARE STILL HELPING OTHER CUSTOMERS PLEASE CONTINUE TO HOLD….
    SCREECH SCREECH LA LA LA LA SCREECH SCREECH SCREECH…

    I WASNT AWARE EITHER THAT WE WERE “CUSTOMERS OF THE IRS” LOL ILL SHOP SOMEWHERE ELSE HAHA

  • OK, I’m on hold right now and was trying to figure out what the 2 songs are, so I did a search and came up with this forum. LOL, this is so funny! I thought maybe it was my imagination that there were only 2 songs playing over and over. So I recognize both and would like them at a normal volume. Anybody familiar with classical that can name these tunes for me? I think the one song was played in the original Bad News Bears!

  • I asked the IRS lady if she knew what the 2 songs were, LOL, and she said no, they never get to hear them (I suggested she call in sometime just so she can get the full effect). She did say she gets LOTS of complaints from the callers and she wishes they’d just find a nice smooth jazz radio station to play, at a normal volume.

    Anyway, if anyone else wanders in looking for the names of the songs:

    1) Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik-Serenade No. 13 in G major-1st Movement

    2) Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker-Waltz of the Flowers

    There are alot of different versions out there, but the ones I found that seem to be the IRS versions were on an album called Classical Moods-100 Top Classical Favorites of All Time (searched I-Tunes).

    Only 24.99 for the album…. surely the IRS could swing that, and then they’d have 100 songs to rotate through!

  • On hold with the IRS right now. Every time Motzart stops for a brief second, a small glimmer of hope wells up inside of me… only to be shattered by “All of our representatives are currently helping other customers. Please continue to hold”.

  • We have 4 people in the office who often have IRS on speaker phone while they go about their other work.

    I recognized Waltz of the Flowers but could not put a name to it. I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me when I googled IRS music and acutally found something.

    I did hear at an IRS Seminar that when someone from IRS is going to put you on hold you can ask to be put on ‘internal hold’ and then you won’t have to hear the music. Since I’m usually just stuck at the initial hold I never get the opportunity to try it.

    Wonder how many people have an unpleasant reaction to Tchaikovsky when they hear it?

  • Thank you so much for the names of the songs! Like others, I recognized the songs but couldn’t recall the names.

    I don’t think anyone has a problem with Tchaikovsky or Mozart, I just find it hilarious that the music has not changed in 10 years and that many other fellow citizens on hold felt moved to Google the IRS hold music.

    Thank you all for the GREAT posts! I was stifling my gales of laughter while on hold at work!

  • on hold..again. ive been having irs problems for the past 2 months and i regularly hav to call them. each time i have to wait at least 30-60 minutes. ive tried all different times of the day. they must have 2 or 3 people working there. they all sound the same too. and i called at 4:30 once and i was on hold for 2 hours. i did it as a test. i just left them on speakerphone while i cleaned. if you call them and are waiting for them to pick up and they have to leave…. they just leave. at my job im suppossed to leave at 9 but if i have a customer i stay. i think its like that with every job… but the irs. Thats where i wanna work!!

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