Republican cuts to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) budget are manifesting as trouble for American taxpayers by degrading the service that they can expect from their government. During this most recent tax season, the IRS hung up on 8.8 million taxpayer, reported

According to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s report, the IRS disconnected from so many people because they lacked enough staff to handle the large call volume. Last year, that number was nowhere near as bad, with 500,000 disconnections. The problem has grown exponentially since then. Last year, the average hold time for callers was 14 minutes. That time increased to 23 minutes by this most recent tax season.

“Millions of taxpayers were unable to reach the IRS by phone; millions did not receive a timely response (if any) to their correspondence; and many more may have had to pay a tax preparer or professional for answers to tax law questions,” wrote NTAS researcher Nina Olson.

Since 2010, Congress has cut IRS funding by $1.2 billion. This effort has been led by Congressional Republicans. The GOP has long been an enemy of the IRS and seeks to find any possible means of dismantling the agency. Having trouble with the IRS? Blame the Republicans.