June 14, 2006
IRS Plans Surveys to Improve Taxpayer Services
The Internal Revenue Service will survey nearly 50,000 people this month to help the agency improve the way it provides taxpayer services.
An Opinion Survey of Taxpayer Resources and Services will be sent to 40,000 taxpayers as part of the Taxpayer Assistance Blueprint (TAB), a multi-year effort by the IRS to review its customer service operations and craft plans for continued improvements. Another survey of 10,000 taxpayers will help the IRS determine the effectiveness of its forms and publications.
“At the IRS, we are committed to providing a balanced program of quality service and equitable enforcement of the law. We strive to provide efficient and effective taxpayer services within available resources. This Blueprint will provide a solid foundation on which to base decisions about our taxpayer services portfolio,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson.
The IRS, the National Taxpayer Advocate and the IRS Oversight Board are collaborating on the TAB Project, which is intended to address questions about the taxpayers’ service preferences and needs. The IRS currently delivers services to taxpayers either electronically, through third parties such as tax practitioners or volunteer preparers, by mail, by telephone or through face-to-face assistance.
Taxpayers chosen at random will be asked 25 questions about how they use IRS services and how they would like to use IRS services. The questionnaire will be mailed to the taxpayers by an IRS-approved contractor. The survey to taxpayers does not ask for any financial or personal information nor should any be divulged. Individual responses will remain confidential.
Recognizing the importance of the clarity and effectiveness of forms, publications, and instructions to the delivery of quality taxpayer service, Media & Publications is at the same time surveying approximately 10,000 individual and business taxpayers, tax preparers and community-based partners to obtain their perspective on this aspect of IRS service.
The Media & Publications External Customer Satisfaction Survey will measure how satisfied respondents are with the information they get from the IRS and how well it equips them to understand and meet their obligations under federal tax laws. Questions will address the content, usefulness, format, graphics and delivery of IRS forms and publications. Customers will have the option of taking the survey by telephone or via the internet.
Both the TAB Opinion Survey of Taxpayer Resources and Services and the Media & Publications External Customer Satisfaction Survey are designed to provide IRS with greater and more accurate understanding of taxpayer service needs, preferences, and behavior. Both surveys will be repeated in future years, which will allow the IRS to continually refine and improve taxpayer services based on taxpayer preferences and needs.
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