January 11, 1999
IRS Creates New Web Page for Special
Alerts to Taxpayers
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service today unveiled a new
page on its Web site to alert taxpayers about problems that occur
during the tax filing season. The new page, called "Special Taxpayer
Alerts," will describe the problem, its scope the number of people
likely to be affected, where they're located, etc. - what the IRS is
doing to fix the problem, and what, if anything the taxpayer needs
to do about it in the meantime.
"No one, including the IRS, likes it when mistakes occur," said
Internal Revenue Commissioner Charles 0. Rossotti. "But when they do
happen, taxpayers deserve to hear about it from us right away. We
know that even a 'little glitch' in an IRS system can affect many
thousands of taxpayers. And they need to be alerted to the problem
and know what we're doing to fix it."
The new page is found under "What's Hot" on the IRS Web site,
www.irs.ustreas.gov. Like a product recall notice, IRS problem
alerts will contain a brief description of a problem, its impact on
taxpayers, steps the IRS is taking or has already taken to fix the
problem, and what, if anything, taxpayers should do.
"In most cases, we'll be able to fix a problem in the system as
soon as we discover it, and taxpayers won't have to take any
action," Rossotti said. "But if they want more information, they can
call 1-800-829-1040. Our telephone assistors will be kept alerted to
problems caused by such things as bad notices or processing or
If a problem arises that is widespread or will take longer to fix,
the IRS will also inform the public through news releases, fact
sheets, and special alerts to the news media and tax professionals.
The latest IRS news releases and fact sheets are on the "IRS
Newsstand" on the Web site.
"We've spent the last year and a half examining, fixing and
updating all our computer software programming - more than 50
million lines of coding. And we're in excellent shape for this tax
filing season," Rossotti said. "But we all know that glitches can
occur in a system as large and as old as the IRS's. We think this
new service will give people the practical information that they
need, when they need it."
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