1999 Filing Season Strategy
This document presents a summary of our efforts, planned and in process, to assure the Service is ready to timely and effectively adapt key provisions from legislative acts passed in 1996, 1997, and 1998 during the 1999 Filing Season.
We regularly review the actual filing season process, but because of the extensive and complex legislation enacted in (Taxpayer Relief Act, Balanced Budget Act, and Taxpayer Browsing Act), the Y2K and customer service strategies, and the mainframe consolidation, we have increased the scope of work planned and in process.
Our objective is to evaluate the Service’s effectiveness in assuring that taxpayers will have the information necessary to properly file returns and that the Service will be able to properly process returns during the 1999 Filing Season. We will perform our audit work in three phases.
Phase I (Jan. – Oct.): We will evaluate the Service’s scheduled plans to implement the tax legislative changes, including review of implementation plans and Requests for Information Services (RIS).
Phase II (Aug. – Dec.): We will evaluate the Service’s actions to provide taxpayers with revised tax forms, instructions and tax assistance on key provisions; and, to ensure related computer programs are timely and effectively implemented through adequate review and test controls. We will also evaluate the Service’s efforts to upgrade technology through use of alternative payment options.
IA will conduct five reviews prior to the start of the 1999 Filing Season including:
1999 Filing Season Readiness – IMF and Non-IMF
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the Service’s actions to provide individual and business taxpayers with revised tax forms and instructions for key tax provisions; to assure that RIS’s fully address all issues and aspects of the key tax provisions; and, to gather information necessary to monitor compliance with key tax provisions. This segment will be conducted in two reviews, IMF and Non-IMF, conducted at Ogden and Kansas City Service Centers.
IS Quality Assurance Over Key Tax Laws – 1999 Filing Season
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the Service in controlling RIS’s needed to implement key provisions of the new tax laws, relevant to the 1999 Filing Season. Evaluate the Service’s system of quality assurance to ensure review and testing activities for key tax law provisions will enable these new or modified programs to function as required.
Taxpayer Assistance on Key Tax Laws – 1999 Filing Season
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the Service’s efforts to assist individual and small business taxpayers on the key provisions through employee training and other reference materials. We will also test the assistors knowledge of tax provisions that taxpayers may be currently requesting information on to plan 1998 tax strategies.
Alternative Payment Methods – 1999 Filing Season
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the Service’s efforts to upgrade technology by implementing alternative payment options.
Phase III Audits (October – May 1999)
1999 On Line Filing Season Review
Evaluate the effectiveness of processing 1998 tax returns and payments and providing taxpayers with assistance in filing their returns. Evaluate the impact of legislative changes on the accuracy and efficiency of the Service’s processes and the taxpayer’s ability to comply with the new legislative provisions.
On Line - Taxpayer Assistance on Key Tax Laws – 1999 Filing Season
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the Service’s efforts to assist individual and small business taxpayers on inquiries concerning key tax law provision. During the On Line phase we will continue our efforts in the following areas:
- Have Service actions been effective in correcting areas we identified in Readiness where Customer Service training or reference materials were not sufficient?
- Have the training and reference materials provided to assistors assured that they can answer test calls and provide information on key tax law provision?
- Is there a quality review system in place to monitor the accuracy of responses to taxpayer telephone inquiries of key tax law provisions?
Walk-in Assistance – On Line 99 Filing Season
- We will evaluate the effectiveness of the Service’s efforts to provide taxpayers better face to face. Specifically, we will focus on the following areas:
- Do all IRS offices that interact with the public provide a reasonable level of service?
- Does the process for allocating resources at the walk-in sites assure that the public receives a consistent and reasonable level of service?
- Has the Service’s identified and capitalized on the most cost effective methods of providing face to face service?
- Are all back up walk-in assistors sufficiently trained, specifically on the key tax law provisions? Back up assistors are sometimes be assigned from district tax examiners, revenue agents, revenue officers, etc.