IRS Responds to Taxpayer Expectations for More Online Services

In response to the ever-increasing number of taxpayers wanting online services, the IRS continues to develop online tools to interact with the taxpayers online, Computer Room at IRS Service CenterCommissioner John Koskinen said on April 2.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Koskinen added that adequate funding is critical for the Service to fulfill its mission and he hopes that one of his legacies as commissioner will be a more stable and sustainable funding level.

Online Services

“Taxpayers want more online services,” Koskinen said. The IRS has developed a number of popular online tools that includes:

  • Where’s My Refund?
  • IRS Direct Pay and IRS Get Transcript

Taxpayers used Where’s My Refund? approximately 200-million times in fiscal year (FY) 2013, Koskinen reported.

“The IRS is also in the final stages of revamping the IRS Online Payment Agreement, which allows taxpayers to apply for an installment agreement online,” he added.

The Service is also moving beyond traditional media to take advantage of social media. These include the Service’s mobile app, IRS2Go, several social media feeds, a microblogging platform and video sharing sites.

Customer Service

The IRS’s level of customer service is around 72 percent so far this filing season, according to Koskinen. “Not that long ago, our level of service was 88 percent.” He also acknowledged that taxpayers have experienced long wait times at IRS service centers.

Koskinen said that, when visiting IRS employees, he often hears the same message: “we do not have the resources to provide the level of service that taxpayers deserve.” Therefore, he wants to foster an environment where information flows easily from frontline employees to managers. “We have 90,000 employees administering the world’s most complex tax code, ” he said.

Contributing to the decline in customer service has been the reduction in IRS funding in recent years. Since FY 2010, the Service’s appropriations have been cut by approximately $900 million, he noted. “It is critical to receive adequate resources.” President Obama has proposed to increase the Service’s funding by approximately 10 percent for FY 2015. For every $1 invested in the IRS produces $4 in revenue,” Koskinen said.

 

 

 

Provided by CCH

 

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