Howard Stern Airs Taxpayer Phone Call to IRS
A phone call between a taxpayer and an Internal Revenue Service collection employee was broadcast on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show when the IRS employee accidentally put himself on hold after calling into Stern’s show.
The shock jock, known as the “King of All Media,” kept trying to get the attention of the IRS employee, identified only as “Jimmy” in Long Island, but he continued talking with the taxpayer about her payments, as Kelly Phillips Erb of Forbes reported.
The phone number of the unidentified taxpayer, from Cape Cod, Mass., was even broadcast over the air, and she told a CBS news program in Boston that listeners around the country quickly began calling and texting her while the conversation was being aired. She is worried about her tax debts being disclosed so publicly and said she has felt devastated and violated by the situation. “No one should go through something like this,” she said.
She asked the IRS employee if he was talking with Stern, and he admitted that he had been on hold with the call-in show.
During the call, Stern and his sidekick, Robin Quivers, joked about the IRS employee’s advice to the taxpayer on her payment plan. “I’m learning so much,” said Stern. “I feel like I’m in math class and I’m flunking because I don’t know one thing he’s saying. I think I’m going to bail on this guy. By the way, this is the most boring job ever. I’d rather live in my parent’s basement if I had to do that. I’d give out all the wrong information. All right, dude, later!”
An IRS spokesperson told the CBS Boston station, “We are aware of this troubling situation, and we are currently reviewing the matter. The IRS takes the confidentiality of taxpayer information very seriously, and we have high standards that we expect and require employees to follow.”
(Warning The audio clip below contains strong language.)