Personal Finance

IRS unveils Taxpayer Experience Office to improve customer service

Key Points
  • The IRS has unveiled a new Taxpayer Experience Office as part of a long-term plan to improve customer service issues.
  • Taxpayers may see near-term boosts to customer call back, payment options, two-way messaging and multilingual services, according to a news release.
  • However, advocates are still pushing for sustained, long-term funding to address lingering technology and experience issues.
The Internal Revenue Service headquarters building in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The IRS on Friday unveiled a new Taxpayer Experience Office as part of a long-term plan to improve customer service issues.

The office will focus on "all aspects of taxpayer transactions," working closely with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS, according to a news release.

Taxpayers may see near-term boosts to customer call back, payment options, two-way messaging and multilingual services.

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The office was proposed in a 2021 report to Congress, calling for more than 100 different programs and tools, including increased account access, more e-file and payment options, digital signatures, secure two-way messaging and more.

"The IRS is committed to customer experiences that meet taxpayers where they are, in the moments that matter most in people's lives and in a way that delivers the service that the public expects and deserves," IRS chief taxpayer experience officer Ken Corbin said in a statement.

The announcement comes amid a challenging season for the agency, still grappling with a backlog of millions of unprocessed returns from the 2020 tax year.

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However, advocates say the IRS needs sustained, long-term funding to improve lingering technology and customer service issues.

A group of former tax officials and policy experts on Thursday sent a letter to the Appropriations Committees calling for funding to address the backlogs and tax gap.

National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins voiced similar concerns in a February testimony before the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee.

"To meet basic taxpayer service needs, the IRS requires additional funding in its taxpayer services account to improve return processing, correspondence processing and telephone service," she said.

Although President Joe Biden proposed $80 billion of IRS funding over the next decade to fight tax evasion, these plans have been met with conservative pushback.