Today: May 30, 2024
Today: May 30, 2024

IRS says beats US tax filing season service goals, needs funding sustained

Share This
IRS says beats US tax filing season service goals, needs funding sustained
April 15, 2024
David Lawder - Reuters

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Internal Revenue Service started tax filing deadline day on Monday by announcing that it had exceeded its goals for speeding assistance to taxpayers and cutting phone hold times to three minutes, and underscoring the need for Congress to maintain adequate funding for the tax agency.

THE TAKE: The IRS is completing its second tax return filing season with increased funding from the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which initially provided $80 billion in funding over 10 years to modernize the agency, improve taxpayer services and boost enforcement. That has since been reduced to $60 billion by Republicans in Congress, and lawmakers continue to argue over the IRS' separate annual operating budget.

The IRS has poured its initial resources into improving taxpayer services, digitizing filing capabilities and launching a pilot free-filing system.

BY THE NUMBERS: The IRS said it has cut its average call wait time on its main taxpayer helpline to three minutes, down from four minutes last year and 28 minutes in 2022, before it received the additional funding.

This was achieved despite answering nearly one million more calls than in 2023. The IRS said it provided help to 88% of callers, beating its 85% goal. A new call-back feature similar to those widely offered by airlines, banks and retailers also saved 1.4 million hours of hold time, IRS said.

IRS has hired more than 5,000 staff to assist taxpayers on the phone and at in-person service centers and to handle digitization of paper filings. IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel told reporters this was the "right-size workforce" for taxpayer services, but the agency needs to keep hiring to keep up with attrition.

Even with the supplemental funding, Werfel said the IRS does not have adequate resources to sustain hiring for taxpayer services and auditing of complex business partnerships while modernizing its systems, so it will need to see annual operating budget increases in future years.

KEY QUOTE: "These accomplishments show that the IRS' strong performance last filing season was not a fluke," U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said. "It's showing that when (the IRS) has the resources it needs, it will provide taxpayers the service they deserve," Yellen said, adding that she would work with Congress "to ensure that IRS has the resources to sustain this momentum."

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

Popular

IRS makes free tax return program permanent and is asking all states to join in 2025

The IRS will make permanent the free electronic tax return filing system that it experimented with this year

IRS makes free tax return program permanent and is asking all states to join in 2025

Mortgage rates snap three-week pullback, pushing average rate on a 30-year home loan back above 7%

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage moved back above 7% this week, a setback for home shoppers at a time when the U.S. housing market is already slowing under the strain of elevated home loan borrowing costs and rising prices

Mortgage rates snap three-week pullback, pushing average rate on a 30-year home loan back above 7%

Supreme Court gives homeowners another chance in escrow dispute with Bank of America

The Supreme Court has given homeowners another chance to force Bank of America and other large banks to pay interest on mortgage escrow accounts

Supreme Court gives homeowners another chance in escrow dispute with Bank of America

Fidelity won't levy proposed fees on purchases from boutique ETF firms, sources say

Fidelity Investments will not impose new fees on investors buying exchange-traded funds (ETFs) issued by a group of smaller asset management firms, having made progress on

Fidelity won't levy proposed fees on purchases from boutique ETF firms, sources say

Tesla makes push to roll out advanced FSD self-driving in China

Tesla is preparing to register its 'Full Self-Driving' software with authorities in China in the run up to its planned rollout of the technologically advanced feature this year, three

Tesla makes push to roll out advanced FSD self-driving in China

Related

Boeing to detail quality, training improvements in FAA meeting, sources say

Boeing to detail quality, training improvements in FAA meeting, sources say

Volkswagen distributor D'Ieteren flags softer auto glass repair demand in N America

Volkswagen distributor D'Ieteren flags softer auto glass repair demand in N America

SK Group chief ordered to pay $1 billion in divorce case; shares in SK Inc soar

SK Group chief ordered to pay $1 billion in divorce case; shares in SK Inc soar

US Steel, Nippon Steel receive all non-US approvals for merger

US Steel, Nippon Steel receive all non-US approvals for merger
- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer