GAO Reports  
GGD-94-131 August 29, 1994

Tax Administration: Better Measures Needed to
Assess Progress of IRS' One-Stop Service

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been frequently criticized for its handling of taxpayer questions, requests for assistance, and complaints. In response, IRS has developed a concept of taxpayer assistance known as "one-stop service." The idea is that taxpayers should be able to call, write, or walk into an IRS office for help with any kind of tax problem and see that matter resolved with only one contact by the taxpayer. GAO concludes that both taxpayers and IRS will benefit if IRS can achieve its one-stop service goals. Taxpayers will be able to avoid time-consuming dealings with multiple IRS contacts, and IRS should see increased taxpayer compliance. Between 1992 and 1993, IRS improved its delivery of one-stop service to taxpayers who called with account questions. However, several barriers still limit IRS' ability to deliver one-stop service over the telephone. IRS hopes to remove some of these barriers by consolidating various telephone and correspondence handling services into 23 Customer Service Centers, which should be up and running by 2001. In the meantime, current measures overstate delivery of one-stop service at toll-free sites.

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