TIGTA: Most Taxpayers Do Not Receive Quality Responses to Their Correspondence

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says the IRS is not giving taxpayers timely responses to correspondence.  In particular, the IRS is slow in responding to correspondence audits.  In a report titled “Taxpayers Do Not Always Receive Quality Responses When Corresponding About Tax Issues,” TIGTA says:

Two statistical samples and one judgmental sample from three IRS functions showed that most taxpayers do not receive quality responses to their correspondence.

• Of 73 correspondence cases sampled from the Accounts Management function, only 14 (19 percent) taxpayers received timely and accurate responses.

• Of 48 correspondence cases sampled in the Automated Underreporter Program, all 48 taxpayers received accurate responses, but only 27 (56 percent) of 48 taxpayers received their responses timely.

• Of 73 correspondence cases from the Field Assistance Office, only six (8 percent) taxpayers received timely and accurate responses.

In addition, interim letters, required to be sent to taxpayers if a response cannot be issued within the 30 calendar days, were not always issued.

Not all procedures are being followed. Cases are not properly categorized, suspensed, or linked, and the quality review process does not ensure all procedures were followed.