Want to improve the IRS?¨SPEAK UP
By Andrea Price, TAP member representing Ohio
The Truth Contributor
The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel comprises civic-minded citizen volunteers from all walks of life representing each state, D.C., Puerto Rico, and an international member (citizens living, working, or doing business abroad). TAP is a Federal Advisory Committee whose mission is to listen to taxpayers, identify taxpayers’ issues, and make suggestions for improving the IRS service and customer satisfaction.
Everyone has something to say about taxes and the IRS. Please take a moment to give us your suggestions for TAP to consider by contacting one of the following:
TAP Ohio member: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call toll-free at:1-888-912-1227
Accelerating Digital Communications to Improve the Taxpayer Experience: CL-21-22, July 16, 2021
De Lon Harris, IRS Commissioner for Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE) Examination, and his team have created a high-priority Taxpayer Digital Communication (TDC) initiative to enhance communications with taxpayers through digital channels.
The Taxpayer Digital Communication initiatives include secure messaging, a text chat function, and outbound notifications to support taxpayers.
One of the benefits of Secure Messaging is that it allows IRS customer service representatives (CSRs) to upload large files up to 1GB in size. To date, over 21,000 taxpayers have successfully signed up to take advantage of this service. These improvements have seen digital communication help resolve audits quicker and improve taxpayer satisfaction, with an overall satisfaction rate of over 83% on their customer satisfaction surveys.
Another function is text Chat that allows the IRS to offer real-time chat assistance to taxpayers and enables CSRs to exchange text messages, files, webpages, and other information to address taxpayer queries. In October 2018, additional chat buttons were added to Letter 16, Please Call Us About Your Overdue Taxes, and Letter 24, We’ve Received Your Payment Proposal. In March 2019, a proactive chat was implemented on the Additional Instructions on Payment Plans webpage. Proactive chat is a pop-up text chat bot that displays when a taxpayer has been on a web page for 30 seconds, but only if a live CSR is available. Authenticated chat was launched in June 2019 to handle Online Payment Agreement questions, and the ability for taxpayers to upload attachments was made available in June 2020.
The average Automatic Collection System Chat handle time is between six minutes and about 23 minutes, with an average wait time of 35 seconds.
Taxpayer Digital Communication – Outbound Notification is a web-based application that gives individual taxpayers access to specific IRS notifications through the Online Account to access notifications and view account balances to make payments. Taxpayers can register for an online account at https://www.irs.gov/irs-pdf/5533.pdf.
The following notices are now available through taxpayers’ online accounts:
- CP-21A – Recalculation – Balance Due
- CP-60 – We Removed Payments from Your Account – Balance Due
- CP-14I – Return Filed – IRA Taxes or Penalties Due
- CP-521 – Monthly Installment Agreement Payment Reminder (SB/SE Notice)
- CP-01A – We Assigned You an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN)
- CP-62 – We Credited Your Account
- CP-14 – Balance Due
- CP-49 – Refund Offset (SB/SE Notice)
- CP-39 – Overpaid Taxes Applied – Balance Due
- CP-14H – Owed Minimum Essential Health Coverage Payment (Shared Responsibility Payment)
- CP-501 – Balance Due-First Notice
This fall, taxpayers will be able to opt-Out of receiving select paper-based notices via U.S. Postal Service (USPS), opt-In to receiving select paper-based notices via USPS, sign up to receive Email Notifications when a new notice has been added to Online Account, and report Erroneous Correspondence within the Notices and Letters page.