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IRS releases recommendations for improving taxpayer services, organizational structure

IRS releases recommendations for improving taxpayer services, organizational structure
© Greg Nash

The IRS on Monday released a report to Congress that outlines strategies for improving its taxpayer service, employee training and organizational structure in response to bipartisan legislation Congress passed in 2019.

In a key part of the report, the IRS said it plans to create a new position called the chief taxpayer experience officer, who would work to drive improvements across the agency to taxpayers’ experiences with the IRS. The agency said that it is aiming to establish this position during the current fiscal year.

“I think this report and the efforts that we’re going to have from here forward will really bring us into a new era in tax administration,” IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a call with reporters.

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President TrumpDonald TrumpFBI says California extremist may have targeted Newsom House Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Facebook to dial back political content on platform MORE in 2019 signed into law a measure called the Taxpayer First Act that includes a host of provisions aimed at modernizing the IRS.

The law, which has widespread bipartisan support, includes provisions that direct the IRS to develop a comprehensive customer service strategy, a comprehensive employee training strategy and a strategy for modernizing the agency’s organizational structure. The report the IRS issued Monday follows up on those provisions.

In addition to calling for the new chief taxpayer experience officer position, the organizational structure portion proposes centralizing the IRS’s taxpayer-facing offices and consolidating the agency’s collections and examinations operations into a new compliance division.

The taxpayer service portion focuses on areas such as expanding the IRS’s digital services, increasing proactive outreach to educate taxpayers and developing focused strategies to reach out to underserved communities. 

The IRS said that it will start implementing some of the report’s recommendations this year and do further work in the coming years.

The IRS said it needs commitments to significant multiyear funding in order to make the improvements it thinks are needed. The agency estimated that full implementation of the Taxpayer First Act plans, as well as a technology modernization plan it released several months before the enactment of the law, would cost $4.1 billion in the period from fiscal 2021 to fiscal 2025.