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As of June 17, 2020, there are 4969 open recommendations, of which 518 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 February 2020, IRS had not finalized its strategy nor 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 across service channels. In September 2019, IRS provided GAO its revised customer service strategy; however, it did not include correspondence service. In July 2019, the Taxpayer First Act (Public Law 116-25) was enacted which requires IRS to develop a comprehensive customer service strategy. As of February 2020, IRS had established an internal office to implement this requirement. Completion of a comprehensive customer service strategy that defines appropriate levels of service and wait time as well as specific steps to manage services based on an assessment of time frames, demand, capabilities, and resource requirements would enable IRS to make a more informed request to Congress about resources 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 possibly reduce costs in other areas.