(Washington, DC) The IRS Oversight Board met on
December 2, 2009 to discuss the IRS’ performance over the past year as well as
other issues relating to the agency. The Oversight Board was pleased that the
IRS continues to make steady progress in meeting its strategic goals.
The IRS reported that in FY2009 it met most of the 66 annual
performance measures monitored by the Oversight Board. These measures,
established by the IRS and the Oversight Board last year, set quantitative
targets to ensure that the agency is meeting its strategic goals: to improve
service, enforce the tax law, and invest in high performance. The measures,
their target goals, actual level achieved, and data definitions can be found at
Overall, measures for toll-free telephone level of service,
accuracy in answering questions, and timeliness in providing tax products scored
within their targets. Enforcement measures, including examination coverage and
completion of criminal cases, also met their established targets. In addition,
more taxpayers visited the IRS web site, and the number of taxpayers filing
their tax returns electronically continued to grow and slightly exceeded IRS
“The Board is pleased with the IRS’ FY2009 performance,”
commented Board Chairman Paul Cherecwich, Jr. “Setting clear and meaningful
measures gives the IRS an opportunity to demonstrate its focus on achieving
strategic goals and producing tangible results for taxpayers.”
The Board and the IRS also discussed the agency’s goals for
FY2010. Performance targets for FY2010 will be posted on the Board’s web site
once the FY2010 budget is passed by Congress and signed by the President.
FY2010 Filing Season Preparations
At the Board’s request, the IRS outlined its preparations
for the FY2010 filing season, which begins next month. The IRS told the Board
that work is well underway in preparing material, training seasonal workers, and
programming and testing changes in its systems. The IRS assured the Board that
testing indicated that the system will operate properly.
The Board expressed concern about an adequate level of telephone
service for taxpayers who choose to ask the IRS tax questions using the
toll-free telephones. Experience in the last two years has shown that greater
numbers of taxpayers are calling the IRS for assistance, especially to inquire
about new tax law provisions, and that service levels have fallen below the 82
percent achieved in FY2007. With many new tax provisions in place for the 2009
tax year, the Board is concerned that this trend will continue and service
levels during the 2010 filing season will suffer as a result.
Discussions Included Enterprise Risk Management, Tax
Preparer Regulations, and Business Systems Development
February 2009 public meeting, risk management experts briefed the Board on the
importance of taking an enterprise-wide approach to risk management. In a
planned follow up action, the IRS briefed the Board on its agency-wide approach
to identifying and managing risks to its infrastructure, operations, and data.
Other subjects discussed during the meeting included the results
of the IRS review of preparer regulations, which are expected to be released
soon, and the status of the Customer Account Data Engine 2 (CADE 2) program.
Public Meeting Planning
The Oversight Board
discussed possible candidate topics for its 2010 public meeting. Three topics
were chosen for further development: 1) hiring, on-boarding, and enculturation
of a high performing workforce; 2) corporate board governance of tax risk, and
3) enhanced approaches to dealing with the tax gap attributable to small
business. Details on the meeting will be available in the coming weeks.
Paul Cherecwich, Jr. was
reelected to serve as IRS Oversight Board Chairman for a two-year term.