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The Internal Revenue Service is on a charm offensive, as long as you don’t earn too much money.

After a multiyear pandemic pause, the agency is rebooting its collection efforts, hammering home its intent to chase down high earners who owe the most. On Thursday, the I.R.S. said it was sending letters to over 25,000 people with more than $1 million in income who had not filed tax returns since 2017.

Everyone else, the agency insists, is going to benefit from the $60 billion, scaled back from an initial $80 billion, that the agency has won via the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The year before that, the I.R.S. appointed Ken Corbin as its first chief taxpayer experience officer.

So what does he do all day? I went to the agency’s headquarters in Washington to find out, which was an experience unto itself.

First, the security guards put a wand to my shoes. After some beeps, they scanned my stockinged feet. Once properly badged — with the words “Escort Only” in the largest font — I had an hour with Mr. Corbin. What follows is a condensed version, edited for clarity, of our conversation — and his advice for taxpayers like you and me.

So what’s a philosophy major like you doing in a place like this?

My wife of 25 years was a philosophy major, and I wanted her to date me.

I was actually a chemistry and philosophy major, and to pay for college, I was working at night for the I.R.S., where I’d started at age 16 in a work-study program. I remember applying to medical schools and talking to others about the expense. And my mother asked me what my reason was for wanting to be a doctor. I really like to solve problems and help people.

She wisely said to me, “Are you not serving people at the I.R.S.?” At that point, I started thinking more about government, and my job became a career.

Why was it necessary to create the chief experience officer role?

We really needed to look at how people experience the I.R.S.

One thing that I’m really excited about that I think is a good measure of experience is a feature we call customer callback.

Here’s a measure of success for me: We have saved over 600,000 hours just this year in people having to wait.

The goal was to have that feature available for 95 percent of taxpayers calling for assistance by July. Did you hit it?

We exceeded the 95 and are at 97 percent.

I’m really happy to say that on our main phone line this year, when you get in line, we are answering the phone in under five minutes, on average. In fact, we’re right at two minutes right now.

It’s only February.

It’s early in the filing season.

Talk to me on April 12.

I will do that.

Can the callback system predict roughly when someone will be calling me back later that day?

I don’t think it does right now, and I think that’s an enhancement that I want.

When’s the best time to call? Is it like trying to get concert tickets in the old days, where you hit the phone line exactly one second before the on-sale time?

Tuesday to Thursday. Mondays are really heavy phone days. People over the weekend either file their taxes or can’t file their taxes, or some people might have gotten a little love note from the I.R.S. and don’t want to open it until the weekend, when they can reflect on it a little bit.

The agency has a lot of new money available. You must be licking your chops. What are you using it for that you hope people will notice first?

We’ve hired about 5,000 customer service representatives. We’ve also hired about 800 in-person assisters. We have had what we call taxpayer experience days, where we’re open Saturdays at our brick-and-mortar walk-in centers. We do one a month during filing season.

We also are able to have our employees work longer hours in the centers, which means we’re opening earlier in the day and staying open later in the evening. That allows people who have 9-to-5 jobs to come in.

I hope people notice that you can talk to us now. During the pandemic, it was tough for us. The economic impact payments got us behind in our normal work.

Here’s something from a lot of people’s wish lists: being able to send messages securely about a problem, with the same person replying so you’re not having to start over each time.

We’re already testing and learning with secure messaging with some of our business customers. It may not be the same person who answers you, but I think we are really close to creating those journeys.

If I had to predict when I will be able to do this myself, I would guess 2038. Do you want to put your hand on a Bible and promise something sooner?

I wouldn’t put my hand on a Bible, only because a lot of our ability to do things is dependent on the laws passed and the funding we have.

Heard. What do people get wrong tactically when trying to solve problems with the I.R.S.?

They get a letter or something from the I.R.S., and they won’t open it. They won’t read it. I’m being candid with you — that is the No. 1 thing. I want them to open the letter. Let’s figure out how to resolve the issue.

Couldn’t you solve for this by putting something like “We Might Owe You Money” on the front of the envelope?

This is where the laws get tricky. Believe it or not, if we put on the front of the envelope that we owe you money, we’re actually disclosing something about you that we’re not allowed to disclose, that anyone can see.

Even if it says “might”?

That’s a disclosure.

How do you do your own taxes?

As an experience officer, I want to know all kinds of things that are out there. I’ve used software packages. I’ve done paper.

Do you have a favorite deduction that you have personally been able to take?

The standard deduction is probably my favorite. It’s one of the easier ones that people can relate to.

I recently spent time with teenage volunteers working as tax preparers. They’ve observed that the more money you make, the more and better access you have to deductions in this country. That doesn’t seem fair, so their question was this: What’s up with that?

That’s a great question. We at the I.R.S. administer the tax laws. So that’s really a congressional question. But over the years, there are definitely benefits and things available for most taxpayers.

In a perfect world, some of those teenagers become certified public accountants by 26 and come to work for you by 32 …

I’m loving it already.

But if they’re discouraged by the system’s fairness, how do you talk them out of discouragement?

I would tell them that there are different ways that you can be part of the tax ecosystem and be an advocate. You can work for the I.R.S. There is the Taxpayer Advocate Service, where you can work with the department and on the Hill on different ways to look at how tax administration works. You can come in and be an experience officer.

We all play a role, whether you’re a filer or an employee.

Have you ever been audited?

I don’t think I can answer that question.

Is there a law? You can disclose about yourself, right?

Yeah, but I wouldn’t disclose that about myself. My wife would kill me.

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