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As of February 9, 2020, there are 4958 open recommendations, of which 422 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
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Recommendation: The Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue should take the following action outline a strategy that defines appropriate levels of telephone and correspondence service and wait time and lists specific steps to manage service based on an assessment of time frames, demand, capabilities, and resources.
Agency: Department of the Treasury: Internal Revenue Service Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: IRS neither agreed nor disagreed with GAO's recommendation from December 2012, but has made progress in developing a customer service strategy that defines appropriate levels of telephone service; however, as of November 2018, IRS had not finalized its strategy or determined the appropriate levels of service for correspondence and wait time. In January 2017, IRS shared results of a benchmarking study that compared its telephone service, measures, and goals to comparable agencies and companies. The team that conducted the study recommended options for additional measures to indicate the level of access taxpayers have to service, including across service channels. IRS concluded the ideal level of service is 83 percent, which optimizes wait time, disconnects, and assistor availability. In June 2018, IRS told GAO that it was drafting a customer service strategy using this information. As of November 2018, this strategy was being reviewed by the Department of the Treasury, after which it will be sent for review by the Office of Management and Budget. IRS officials did not have an estimate for when the strategy would be released. Completion of this strategy, should it define appropriate levels of correspondence service and wait time and lists specific steps to manage these and telephone service based on an assessment of time frames, demand, capabilities, and resources would enable IRS to make a more informed request to Congress about resource requirements needed to deliver specific levels of service. Further, finalizing a long-term comprehensive strategy will help ensure IRS is maximizing the benefit to taxpayers and may possibly reduce costs in other areas.