Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
Office of Audit
Surveys of Taxpayers With Tax Account Issues Indicate They Are Satisfied With the Service They Received at Taxpayer Assistance Centers
Issued on August 17, 2010
Highlights of Report Number: 2010-40-100 to the Internal Revenue Service Commissioner for the Wage and Investment Division.
IMPACT ON TAXPAYERS
One of the primary goals of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is to improve customer service to make voluntary compliance easier. One method the IRS uses to provide customer service and taxpayer assistance is by providing local IRS walk-in offices, called Taxpayer Assistance Centers, which allow taxpayers to obtain assistance with tax matters.
WHY TIGTA DID THE AUDIT
Taxpayer account services are a significant part of the Taxpayer Assistance Center Program. This audit evaluated the customer service IRS employees provided to taxpayers who visited Taxpayer Assistance Centers for tax account information.
WHAT TIGTA FOUND
Taxpayers who visited Taxpayer Assistance Centers with tax account issues were satisfied with the overall customer service they received during their visits. They generally believed they received prompt service and that assistors who helped them were courteous, listened to their concerns, and had the knowledge to assist them properly.
small percentage of taxpayers were dissatisfied. These taxpayers’ experiences differed from
Still, most taxpayers who visited Taxpayer Assistance Centers for tax account issues have little or no desire to contact the IRS using other methods, such as using a toll-free telephone service or secure Internet web sites.
Approximately one million
taxpayers each year visit Taxpayer Assistance Centers to make payments despite
there being more convenient methods.
The other methods are also less expensive for the IRS because the IRS
estimates that it costs approximately $29 per
Taxpayers who visit Taxpayer Assistance Centers for tax account issues have some common attributes. Typically, they are:
· Over the age of 50.
· Have a lower than average income.
· Less likely to file electronically or use a paid preparer.
WHAT TIGTA RECOMMENDED
The Commissioner, Wage and Investment Division, should identify reasons certain taxpayers prefer to make payments at Taxpayer Assistance Centers instead of using more convenient methods and take appropriate actions in an attempt to reduce the number of taxpayers who visit Taxpayer Assistance Centers to make payments.
The IRS agreed with the recommendation and plans to conduct a study to determine why taxpayers prefer to make payments at Taxpayer Assistance Centers instead of using alternative methods. Based on the results of the study, the IRS plans to examine opportunities to influence the behavior of taxpayers and determine the feasibility of attempting to reduce the number of taxpayers who visit Taxpayer Assistance Centers to make payments.
READ THE FULL REPORT
To view the report, including the scope, methodology, and full IRS response, go to:
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone Number: 202-622-6500
Web Site: http://www.tigta.gov