Tax Administration:

Monitoring the Accuracy and Administration of IRS' 1989 Test Call Survey

GGD-90-37: Published: Jan 4, 1990. Publicly Released: Jan 4, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) 1989 administration of its Integrated Test Call Survey System (ITCSS), intended to measure the quality of service it provided through its toll-free telephone assistance program for taxpayers.

GAO found that: (1) its independent scoring of 577 randomly selected ITCSS test calls during the 1989 tax filing season indicated a 67.2-percent accuracy rate; (2) the overall IRS-calculated accuracy rate was 62.8 percent for a national total of 14,876 test calls; (3) it did not agree with an IRS revision of the scoring criteria that produced a higher accuracy rate; and (4) for the 1990 tax filing season, IRS planned to report ITCSS accuracy rates that were based on scoring criteria that GAO agreed to. GAO believes that IRS fairly administered ITCSS, which can be reliably used, with periodic oversight, as the principal monitor of the telephone assistance programs.

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