Were talking calling the IRS during a peak load time? 30 Minutes you think? More like the call will drop after 30 minutes and you can 'go pound salt' is more like it.
As for clients still coming if all RALs go away. We'll see. Some may convert over to RAC product. The rest will likely go looking for other options like pay-day loan outfits (for those employed). The local loan sharks may get a rush of new business too in some inner-city neighborhoods.
But if folks are forced to wait for a couple weeks, I suspect more than a few will just start looking up those non-profit and volunteer groups and get their returns done for free if they don't have money to pay a tax pro and if they don't have access to the internet. If they do have access to the internet, then the free file sites may get a bunch more action in future tax seasons.
We'll see how much HRB, Liberty, and JTX gets hit by these changes, but I suspect it will be enough that all three will have management singing some blues over it next spring.
The free file site and commercial software may initially get a boost in business now that RALs will be harder to get (and the price will definitely rise). The IRS may be sorry it got what it wished for though. EITC is a complicated filing. Pub 596, which contains the rules and multiple checklists and worksheets for EITC, is 66 pages long. The rules about who's a qualifying child are different for EITC than for who's an exemption. How many times has someone left your desk because their little cousin (who lived with them all year etc.) doesn't bring them the EITC reward?
Yup, lots of EITC folks might choose to file their own returns, using the rules according to the way they think they should be, and the audits will begin.