IRS achieved 87% Level of Service, answered 2 million more calls through live assistance, cut phone wait times by 85%
WASHINGTON – Thanks to Inflation Reduction Act resources, the IRS delivered dramatically improved service in Filing Season 2023.The IRS achieved 87% Level of Service, exceeding Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen’s goal of 85%. The agency also answered 2 million more calls through live assistance, cut phone wait times to four minutes from 27 minutes, served 100,000 more taxpayers in-person, digitized 80 times more returns than in 2022 through the adoption of new scanning technology, cleared the backlog of unprocessed 2022 individual tax returns with no errors, launched two new digital tools, and enabled a new direct-deposit refund option. This marks a vast improvement over 2022, when, due to a lack of resources, the IRS hit just 15% Level of Service to taxpayers and millions of refunds were delayed for months.
Significantly Improved Phone Service – 2 Million More Calls Answered by IRS Customer Service Representatives, Wait Times Under 5 Minutes
- Thanks to the 5,000 new hires made possible by Inflation Reduction Act resources, IRS customer service representatives answered more than 6.5 million taxpayer calls this year, 2.4 million more calls with live assistance since the start of the year through April 7, compared to the same period in 2022.
- IRS cut phone wait times to four minutes, down from 27 minutes in Filing Season 2022.
- IRS achieved an 87% Level of Service with live assistance this filing season, exceeding the 85% goal set by Secretary Yellen last year. This is a more than fivefold increase in Level of Service over Filing Season 2022.
- The IRS integrated new technology features like customer callback options, which will be available for 95% of taxpayers calling for toll-free live assistance by the end of July 2023.
Reopened Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) Nationwide – 92% of TAC’s Open by Early April
- IRS hired hundreds of new TAC employees, with 335 TACs open this Filing Season including 17 new or newly re-opened TACs that were closed last year. IRS served 428,000 taxpayers in-person as of March 31—107,000 more taxpayers than during the same period last year. (92% of TACs were open as of early April, with several scheduled to open in the coming weeks.)
- Since the beginning of the year, the IRS reopened TACs in Casper, Wyo.; Binghamton, N.Y., West Nyack, N.Y.; Overland Park, Kan.; Longview, Texas; Santa Fe, N.M.; Queensbury, N.Y., Charlottesville, Va.; La Crosse, Wis., Cranberry Township, Pa.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Joplin, Mo.; Jackson, Tenn.; Augusta, Maine; Bellingham, Wash., and Trenton, N.J. IRS also opened a new TAC in Greenville, Miss.
- The IRS hosted Taxpayer Experience Days in more than 100 TAC locations to provide Saturday in-person help, a key service for taxpayers who are unable to visit a TAC during the week.
- IRS in 2024 will continue to expand in-person services to reach more communities. IRS is working to give taxpayers information about wait times for on-demand service so they can better plan their visits and improve scheduling capabilities for in-person appointments.
Expanded Digitization to Eliminate Paper backlogs – 80X More Scanned Returns Than 2022
- The IRS manually enters the numbers from paper returns into its computers one digit at a time. Automating this process is one of the highest priorities as the IRS upgrades technology.
- Thanks to additional Inflation Reduction Act resources, the IRS hit a major milestone in adopting new technology that will enable the automation of the scanning of millions of individual paper returns, scanning 470,000 940 forms as of April 13. In the first quarter of the year, IRS scanned 80 times more returns than in all of 2022.
- The IRS has expanded scanning to some of the most commonly used forms—1040 and 941—and has scanned 10,000 as of April 13. The IRS is on track to scan millions of returns this year, delivering significant service improvements for taxpayers, including faster processing and refunds.
New Ability to Respond to Notices and File Online – 9 New Online Forms, 72 Notices to Come
- Taxpayers are now able to respond to notices online and have new online filing options. Until this filing season, when taxpayers received notices for things like document verification, they had to respond through the mail. Taxpayers are now able to respond to nine of the most common notices for credits like the Earned Income and Health Insurance Tax Credits online, saving them time and money.
- The IRS plans to expand this tool to allow taxpayers to respond online to 72 of the most common notices they receive through the mail. This will make it significantly easier for individuals and small businesses to resolve issues and get their refunds in a timely manner.
- The IRS launched an online portal to allow businesses to file Form 1099 series information returns electronically. These forms previously needed to be submitted through the mail. Small business owners often prepare their own taxes, rather than hire professional preparers, and this new tool is saving millions of small business owners time and money.
New direct deposit refund option
- IRS enabled a direct-deposit refund option for 1040X amended returns. These refunds were previously only available by paper check, delaying taxpayers’ receipt of their refunds.