I have been asked to take a look at this question.
The IRS has an internal procedure that they have returns processed within certain time limits. This is part of the Quality assurance they use to monitor customer service.
Legislatively, they are under a mandated 10 year effort starting in 2001 to convert all processing to electronic returns, and to reduce processing times of paper returns to 40 days. BUT there is no regulatory guidance to legally, force them into a system of processing a claim such as yours or communicating back to you.
REFERENCE for the 40 day guidance:
TITLE 26 - INTERNAL REVENUE CODE
Subtitle F - Procedure and Administration
CHAPTER 61 - INFORMATION AND RETURNS
Subchapter A - Returns and Records
PART II - TAX RETURNS OR STATEMENTS
Subpart A - General Requirements
Here is a link to the overview of the Tax resolution quality issues. Again these are not legislative but are derived based on authority of IRC § 7803(c),
From the IRS Manual: http://www.irs.gov/irm/part13/ch01s07.html
If you would like to address this issue with the IRS you may make a comment on the following website:
You may find free tax payer legal assistance from the IRS legal aid. You can check your eligibility and the location of the nearest LITC.
Your issues, if you are qualified by income group, can be resolved with legal assistance using the LITC program.