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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


September 9, 2010
TIGTA - 2010-50
Contact: Karen Kraushaar
(202) 622-6500
karen.kraushaar@tigta.treas.gov
TIGTA-PAO@tigta.treas.gov

TIGTA Survey Finds Taxpayers Generally Satisfied With Level Of Service Received At Taxpayer Assistance Centers

WASHINGTON - The majority of taxpayers with tax account issues who visited Taxpayer Assistance Centers operated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) were generally satisfied with the overall customer service they received, according to a new audit report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

The IRS provides taxpayers with walk-in assistance at its local offices called Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs), which allow taxpayers to obtain face-to-face assistance with tax matters. More than 3 million taxpayers with tax account issues visit the centers annually.

TAC visitors surveyed by TIGTA generally believed they received prompt service and that the IRS employees who helped them were courteous, listened to their concerns, and had the knowledge to assist them properly. TIGTA surveyed a sample of 1,543 TAC visitors with tax account issues and received 345 responses.

"Taxpayer service is critical to encouraging voluntary compliance with our tax laws," said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. "The IRS should continuously ensure it is providing the best available service to all taxpayers, including those with tax account issues who visit their Taxpayer Assistance Centers, and find cost-effective ways to do so."

Walk-in assistance is more costly than other methods, so TIGTA recommended that the IRS identify reasons certain taxpayers prefer to make payments at TACs instead of using more convenient methods and take appropriate actions to reduce the number of taxpayers who visit Taxpayer Assistance Centers to make payments. The IRS plans to conduct a study to determine why some taxpayers prefer to make payments in person.

To view the report, including the scope, methodology, and full IRS response, go to: http://www.treas.gov/tigta/auditreports/2010reports/201040100fr.pdf.

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