Monday, January 12, 2009

GAO Issues Report Card on 2008 Filing Season

Earlier today, the Government Accountability Office (GOA) released its report on the 2008-filing season. Below is a quote from the report, but you can download a PDF of the full report at IRS's 2008 Filing Season Generally Successful Despite Challenges, Although IRS Could Expand Enforcement During Returns Processing.

IRS successfully processed 150 million returns and issued 105 million refunds for $246 billion as of September 12, 2008. In addition, IRS issued 116 million stimulus payments totaling $94 billion. However, taxpayers’ access to IRS’s telephone assistors was substantially lower than last year because of an unanticipated increase in telephone call volume. Calls to IRS more than doubled to 118 million as many taxpayers had questions about the amount of their stimulus payment or its timing. IRS acted to answer the calls including shifting hundreds of staff from collection cases to telephone assistance. IRS took other actions such as adding features to its Web site that answered stimulus-related questions and likely diverted some calls. Regardless, taxpayers’ ability to get through to IRS telephone assistors declined from about 81% of waiting callers getting through last year to about 57% from January through June 30 of this year.

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