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IRS Oversight Board

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Oversight Board Briefed on Filing Season; Approves New Long-Term Goals

(Washington, DC) The IRS Oversight Board met on April 29th and discussed the 2010 tax filing season and progress on the Customer Account Data Engine (CADE) 2 initiative. In addition, the Oversight Board approved target goals for additional long-term measures in the areas of enforcement, service, and modernization. The Board also discussed the IRS budget.

The IRS briefed the Board on its performance during the 2010 filing reason, in which it received 128 million individual tax returns and issued 93.3 million refunds as of April 23, 2010. The latest figures indicate an increase in individual tax returns filed electronically to 72.7 percent, up from 69 percent last year. Meanwhile, taxpayers visited IRS.gov 183 million times, and used the “Where’s My Refund” feature on the IRS website 53 million times.

The IRS briefed the Board on the challenges involved in processing economic recovery-related tax provisions. As of April 25th, it processed 845,000 First Time Homebuyers Credit Claims, with a total of more than $5.8 billion paid to new homeowners. It also provided support for the Making Work Pay Credit by offering telephone services to assist taxpayers in filing an accurate claim by providing their recovery payment amount. More than 750,000 taxpayers used the system. A similar web tool was launched in March with 4.7 million payment confirmations received by April 17th. The IRS exceeded its target goals for telephone level of service by developing new approaches to staffing. Nonetheless, service levels were below what the Board views as satisfactory due to the high volume of taxpayer calls received.

“The IRS did an excellent job in running this year’s filing season in light of the many challenges it faced. This is the fourth consecutive year the filing season was marked by extraordinary and late-breaking changes. I want to recognize the many dedicated IRS employees who work hard to process returns and deliver refunds in a timely manner. Their effort is appreciated by the Board and the public,” commented Board Chairman Paul Cherecwich, Jr.

Meanwhile, progress is underway with the IRS CADE 2 program. The Board discussed the agency’s progress in developing a relational database that is the center of a “data-centric” IRS and will eventually replace the IRS Individual Master File system. Once completed, CADE 2 will allow for daily account updating and quicker issuance of refunds. The IRS reported meeting its milestones on time or early in the project’s design phase. Staffing continues to be a challenge, but the IRS believes it has made improvements in the hiring and recruiting process.

The Board approved new target values for long-term goals that create satisfaction indices for major service and enforcement transactions and a goal for modernization. The enforcement satisfaction index will be computed from survey data encompassing nearly all taxpayer enforcement interactions, such as Automated Under-Reporter notices and field examinations. The service satisfaction index will be based on surveys taken during taxpayers’ service interaction with the IRS. The modernization measures will be for the IRS to establish a consolidated relational database for individual taxpayers by 2012 and to enable electronic filing via the MeF system for all Form 1040 submissions by 2012. To learn more about the measures, go to www.irsoversightboard.treas.gov.

The Board discussed the IRS FY2011 and FY2012 budgets. The Board released its report describing its recommendations for the IRS budget for FY2011 last month. It is available at www.irsoversightboard.treas.gov.

The Board also approved the IRS Strategic Plan for Research that was developed at the request of Congress.

The Board will next meet in Martinsburg, WV on June 3, 2010.

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