Accounting News

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
IRS Oversight Board Issues Report

In 2008, the IRS Oversight Board issued the a plan to improve service. It was given the dynamic name of the IRS Strategic Plan 2009-2013. The plan has three goals for the IRS. They are to improve service quality, enforce the existing laws, create a strategic foundation in people and technology. Every year they issue a report on the progress in meeting their goals. If you want the whole report you can get it here. Or here are a few of the highlights.

The late approval of some tax law in 2010 made for a rocky start to the tax season. The result was a delay in processing 9 million tax returns. The problems were corrected by mid February and all the returns were processed.

The report said the level of service on their toll free answer lines was down slightly. They said they were at 70 percent in 2011 which is 4 point below the 2010 score of 74 percent. The plan calls for an 80 percent rate to be acceptable. The good news is they believe they have a high accuracy rate for incoming calls.

On the enforcement front; there was a decline in overall enforcement contacts. The decline is attributed to the ending of the First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit the caused a tremendous amount of confusion and errors with tax payers. There was an increase in examinations of returns from incomes over $1 million. There was also an increase in examinations of corporate returns.

On the technology front the number of electronic filing continues to increase. The IRS can now accept all 1040 forms electronically. The employee satisfaction of the agency also remain solid despite the pay freezes.

The news for accountants and tax preparers was the growth of the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) for registered preparers. The program has been well received by most professionals.