2012 Tax Filing: IRS Faces Challenges Providing Service to Taxpayers and Could Collect Balances Due More Effectively

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "While there have been efficiency gains and efforts to improve service, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) faced challenges providing telephone service and responding to correspondence, continuing trends experienced in recent years. In 2012, 82 percent of individual taxpayers filed their returns electronically (e-filed), reducing IRS's processing costs. IRS also increased calls answered using automated service and added a variety of self service tools, which helped gain efficiencies. However, IRS's level of telephone service (the percentage of callers seeking live assistance who receive it) declined to 68 ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. December 18, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "While there have been efficiency gains and efforts to improve service, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) faced challenges providing telephone service and responding to correspondence, continuing trends experienced in recent years. In 2012, 82 percent of individual taxpayers filed their returns electronically (e-filed), reducing IRS's processing costs. IRS also increased calls answered using automated service and added a variety of self service tools, which helped gain efficiencies. However, IRS's level of telephone service (the percentage of callers seeking live assistance who receive it) declined to 68 percent. In addition, of the 21 million pieces of paper correspondence IRS received, about 40 percent were considered overage (meaning that IRS did not respond within 45 days of receipt), an increase compared to last year. While IRS plans to continue to pursue efficiency gains, its strategy for future years does not specifically address how it plans to reverse these negative trends. Reversing the declines in telephone and correspondence services may require IRS to consider difficult tradeoffs, such as reassessing which phone calls IRS should answer with a live assistor and which it should not because automated services are available."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • December 18, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. 2012 Tax Filing: IRS Faces Challenges Providing Service to Taxpayers and Could Collect Balances Due More Effectively, report, December 18, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299265/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.