Yellen outlines IRS service improvements for upcoming tax season

September 15, 2022

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on September 15th outlined how the IRS will improve customer service in time for the next tax season.  

“The Inflation Reduction Act finally provides the funding to transform the IRS into a 21st century agency. While all the improvements won’t be done overnight, taxpayers can expect to feel real differences during the next filing season,” she said to IRS employees in the New Carrollton, Maryland, tax facility.

The Secretary said that the following service improvements would occur within the next six months:

  • Fully staff all IRS Tax Assistance Centers, which are projected to serve at least 2.7 million Americans in the coming filing season.
  • Improve phone service by hiring 5,000 customer service representatives. The goal is for wait times to be cut in half.
  • Automate scanning paper tax returns, which is expected to mean faster processing and faster refunds.
  • Enable taxpayers to interact with the IRS online.

“These are bold commitments that the IRS will deliver in just the next six months,” Yellen said, adding that the private sector will weigh-in on agency improvements.

“I’ll convene industry-leading customer service experts from the private sector to make sure we hear their perspectives on the IRS modernization effort,” she said.

It is not clear if CPA firms that deal directly with the IRS will be a part of the experts Yellen consults. 

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provides $80 billion to the IRS to help improve customer service and enforcement efforts. Yellen, again, stressed the no additional taxpayers earning less than $400,000 a year will be hit by the agency’s improved enforcement effort.

“I’ve directed that enforcement resources will not be used to raise audit rates for households making under $400,000 a year relative to historical levels. In fact, we expect audit rates for honest taxpayers to decline, once the IRS has the right technological infrastructure in place,” Yellen said.

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