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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


October 25, 2010
TIGTA - 2010-67
Contact: Karen Kraushaar
(202) 622-6500
karen.kraushaar@tigta.treas.gov
TIGTA-PAO@tigta.treas.gov

TIGTA: Accuracy of Tax Returns Prepared by Volunteers Improved in 2010

WASHINGTON – Volunteers who prepare income tax returns at the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’s) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program sites improved their accuracy during the 2010 Filing Season, according to a new report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

The VITA Program provides no-cost Federal tax return preparation and electronic filing for individual taxpayers who are low to moderate-income, elderly, disabled, or have limited English proficiency. TIGTA reviews this program each year to determine whether taxpayers receive high-quality and accurate service when visiting VITA tax preparation sites. More than 87,000 volunteers prepared approximately 3.1 million tax returns during the 2010 Filing Season at 12,326 sites around the country. TIGTA auditors posed as taxpayers at 17 sites during this review.

Ninety percent of the 39 tax returns volunteers prepared for TIGTA auditors were prepared correctly, a sharp increase from the 59 percent accuracy rate reported by TIGTA in its 2009 review. TIGTA attributed the improvement to an increase in volunteers’ use of the IRS’s Intake/Interview and Quality Review Sheet (Form 13614-C), improved training, and enhanced oversight. Only 5 percent of the 39 tax returns were prepared without use of the Form 13164-C, versus 33 percent in TIGTA’s 2008 Filing Season review, and 22 percent in its 2009 Filing Season review.

"This report is a positive indication of the good work that the IRS is doing for America's taxpayers," stated J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. "I commend the IRS on the progress it has made in helping volunteers accurately fulfill the very important task they assumed."

TIGTA made four recommendations to the IRS in its report, and the IRS agreed with all of those recommendations.

To view the report, including the scope and methodology, and full IRS response, go to: http//:www.treas.gov/tigta/auditreports/2010reports/201040109fr.pdf.

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