In their new press release, the IRS discussed the annual report National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson delivered to Congress. She warned that increased demands on the IRS have eroded the agency’s ability to meet taxpayer service needs and expressed concern that IRS collection practices are harming financially struggling taxpayers without producing significant revenue gains.
In the preface to the report, Olson noted that she is required by statute to identify taxpayer problems, but she wrote that “the IRS in many respects has had an extremely successful year.” She cited, in particular, the IRS’s success in implementing significant legislative changes designed to stimulate the economy in the midst of the filing season.
Among the key issues and themes identified in this year’s report:
Telephone Service. The report designates the IRS’s declining ability to answer telephone calls as the most serious problem facing taxpayers. Olson notes that the IRS has set a target for FY 2010 of answering only 71 percent of calls from taxpayers seeking to speak with a customer service representative about account questions, down from 83 percent in FY 2007.