Taxpayer Waiting Time at IRS' Walk-In Service Offices

GGD-79-53: Published: Apr 10, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 1979.

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A nationwide survey was conducted of the time it took taxpayers to get help at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) walk-in service offices during the first 8 weeks of the 1979 tax filing season.

During this time IRS had more than 2.4 million inquiries at its walk-in facilities and on the average, taxpayers had to wait 9.4 minutes before being assisted. Waiting time can vary, depending on the type of service requested, the hour of the day, and the district office visited. Overall taxpayer waiting and service times appear to be timely and in line with prior year averages. By improving walk-in assistance monitoring, IRS would be assured of collecting management information with which to improve taxpayer service. IRS has a card system for collecting information on waiting and service times that could help to insure that taxpayers everywhere get quick service. Problems with the card preparation need to be corrected to improve the system's usefulness to management. IRS currently plans to analyze the walk-in card data after the tax return filing season has ended.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: IRS should improve the accuracy of the walk-in card data by requiring assistors to record all items of information on the cards. IRS should also consider sampling the cards during the tax filing season to provide management with current information on walk-in taxpayer assistance.

    Agency Affected:


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