IRS' Telephone Assistance Program

T-GGD-89-13: Published: Mar 15, 1989. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 1989.

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GAO discussed the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Integrated Test Call Survey System, focusing on the accuracy of IRS responses to taxpayer questions about tax law. GAO found that: (1) as of March 10, 1989, IRS reported a 30.8-percent error rate for toll-free telephone assistance, but based those results on only 29 of 62 test questions; (2) IRS added a new category of response in reporting accuracy statistics which failed to meet minimal standards; (3) many of the answers IRS wanted to score as correct were incomplete and potentially misleading; and (4) IRS failure to maintain consistent scoring standards raised questions about the validity and integrity of test results.

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