IRS Filing Season One of the Best Ever; E-Filing Hits Record, Taxpayer Service Improves

Apr 27, 2001, 01:00 ET from Internal Revenue Service

    WASHINGTON, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Internal Revenue Service reached
 new standards for performance during this year's tax filing season,
 highlighted by record numbers of people filing electronically and significant
 improvements in taxpayer service.
     "The IRS delivered one of the best filing seasons ever, even as the agency
 continued putting in place its most sweeping reorganization in decades," IRS
 Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti said Thursday.
     Rossotti and John Dalrymple, Commissioner of the Wage and Investment
 Division, proclaimed the filing season a success as the agency released a new
 set of statistics illustrating IRS progress on taxpayer service.  Cautioning
 that the figures, while impressive, simply document advances toward the goals
 of the new agency, Rossotti noted that this year's progress occurred even
 though the agency's new management structure has been in place just since
 October.
     "This year, the IRS provided better service to taxpayers than ever
 before," Rossotti said.  "Of course, this does not mean we are satisfied.  We
 have much room for further improvement, but this year's results are a step in
 the right direction."
     According to Dalrymple, "In addition to improved telephone and walk-in
 services, our growing array of online capabilities is attracting more and more
 taxpayers and tax preparers who demand maximum speed, security and
 convenience."
     Highlights of this year's filing season include:
 
     * Electronic tax filing sets new record.  Through April 20, taxpayers
       filed nearly 39.5 million returns electronically, breaking the 35.4
       million record for all of last year.  By the time the e-filing program
       ends later this year, the IRS expects to receive about 40 million
       returns -- more than 30 percent of individual taxpayers.
 
     * Home computer use soars.  People using home computers to e-file jumped
       to more than 6.6 million, shattering the old record.  It's a 35 percent
       increase from last year's self-preparer number.
 
     * IRS.GOV attracts more taxpayers and doubles downloads.  The IRS web site
       at www.irs.gov remains one of the most frequently visited sites during
       tax season.  Through April 16, the site recorded more than 1.5 billion
       hits this year, a 57 percent increase from last year.  More importantly,
       the number of forms and other documents downloaded topped 103 million
       through February, a 100 percent increase from the same period last year.
 
       "More and more, taxpayers and tax practitioners are embracing computers
       to help with their taxes," Rossotti said.
 
     * Direct deposit of tax refunds up.  This year, a record number of
       taxpayers used direct deposits for their refunds.  Taxpayers filing more
       than 31 million returns selected direct deposit, the safest and fastest
       way to get refunds.  That's an increase of 14.5 percent from last year.
 
     * Tax processing continues at rapid pace.  Workers at IRS Centers continue
       processing tax returns at an efficient rate with more than 83 million
       processed.  This rate closely matches last year's processing rate, which
       was the best in several years.  (Due to the calendar, last year's
       numbers include one more day of processing than this year.)
 
     * Phone service.  IRS assistors and automated systems answered more than
 
       59.2 million phone calls - a 16 percent increase from last year.
       Taxpayers who wished to speak directly to an IRS assistor got through
       66.5 percent of the time, up from 62.2 percent last year.
 
       The Service's correct-response rate also is improving. The cumulative
       correct-response rate on tax-law calls is 78 percent; while calls about
       individual accounts the rate is 88.6 percent.
 
     "These telephone results represent significant, clear progress toward our
 long-term access and quality goals," Rossotti said.  "It was made possible in
 part by new technology, which has been implemented during the last two years."
     According to Dalrymple, whose division has principal responsibility for
 the filing season, "While these upward trends are encouraging, especially
 occurring as we experienced the highest volume in our history, we are far from
 satisfied and are taking measures to ensure that taxpayers receive answers
 they can rely on."
     Rossotti noted the improvements came during a challenging period for the
 IRS.
     "This was the first filing season managed by the new organization, which
 went into effect just three months before the start of the filing season,"
 Rossotti said.  "We are pleased that we were able to provide significantly
 improved results in such a short time. This bodes well for our long-term goal
 of providing top-quality service on a par with the private sector."
     Rossotti thanked IRS employees for their long hours and hard work
 processing tax returns, answering telephone calls, visiting taxpayers and
 performing many other important tax administration duties.
     "With the reorganization, our employees had a lot on their hands this
 year.  But our people came through and delivered one of the smoothest filing
 seasons ever," Rossotti said.
 
 
                         2001 FILING SEASON STATISTICS
 
             Cumulative through the week ending 4/21/00 and 4/20/01
 
                                    2000                 2001         % Change
 
     Individual Income Tax Returns
 
     Total Receipts              113,718,000          109,513,000        -3.7
     Total Processed              83,618,000           83,031,000        -0.7
 
     (NOTE on Total Receipts:  because the tax deadline fell this week, IRS
      Processing Centers had not received and counted all timely filed paper
      returns by the cut-off date for this report.  (E-filing data is
      complete.)  Next week's data will give a more accurate comparison to the
      prior year's total receipts.)
 
     E-filing Receipts:
     TOTAL                        34,910,000           39,457,000        13.0
       TeleFile (phone)            5,142,000            4,400,000       -14.4
       Computer                   29,768,000           35,057,000        17.8
         Tax Professionals        24,856,000           28,412,000        14.3
         Self-prepared             4,912,000            6,645,000        35.3
 
     Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center:
 
     Number                       73,019,000           72,866,000        -0.2
     Amount of principal    $118.581 billion     $124.884 billion         5.3
     Average refund                    $1624                $1714         5.5
 
     Direct Deposit Refunds:
 
     Number                       27,238,000           31,178,000        14.5
     Amount                  $56.752 billion      $66.479 billion        17.1
     Average                           $2084                $2132         2.3
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X47526128
 
 

SOURCE Internal Revenue Service
    WASHINGTON, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Internal Revenue Service reached
 new standards for performance during this year's tax filing season,
 highlighted by record numbers of people filing electronically and significant
 improvements in taxpayer service.
     "The IRS delivered one of the best filing seasons ever, even as the agency
 continued putting in place its most sweeping reorganization in decades," IRS
 Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti said Thursday.
     Rossotti and John Dalrymple, Commissioner of the Wage and Investment
 Division, proclaimed the filing season a success as the agency released a new
 set of statistics illustrating IRS progress on taxpayer service.  Cautioning
 that the figures, while impressive, simply document advances toward the goals
 of the new agency, Rossotti noted that this year's progress occurred even
 though the agency's new management structure has been in place just since
 October.
     "This year, the IRS provided better service to taxpayers than ever
 before," Rossotti said.  "Of course, this does not mean we are satisfied.  We
 have much room for further improvement, but this year's results are a step in
 the right direction."
     According to Dalrymple, "In addition to improved telephone and walk-in
 services, our growing array of online capabilities is attracting more and more
 taxpayers and tax preparers who demand maximum speed, security and
 convenience."
     Highlights of this year's filing season include:
 
     * Electronic tax filing sets new record.  Through April 20, taxpayers
       filed nearly 39.5 million returns electronically, breaking the 35.4
       million record for all of last year.  By the time the e-filing program
       ends later this year, the IRS expects to receive about 40 million
       returns -- more than 30 percent of individual taxpayers.
 
     * Home computer use soars.  People using home computers to e-file jumped
       to more than 6.6 million, shattering the old record.  It's a 35 percent
       increase from last year's self-preparer number.
 
     * IRS.GOV attracts more taxpayers and doubles downloads.  The IRS web site
       at www.irs.gov remains one of the most frequently visited sites during
       tax season.  Through April 16, the site recorded more than 1.5 billion
       hits this year, a 57 percent increase from last year.  More importantly,
       the number of forms and other documents downloaded topped 103 million
       through February, a 100 percent increase from the same period last year.
 
       "More and more, taxpayers and tax practitioners are embracing computers
       to help with their taxes," Rossotti said.
 
     * Direct deposit of tax refunds up.  This year, a record number of
       taxpayers used direct deposits for their refunds.  Taxpayers filing more
       than 31 million returns selected direct deposit, the safest and fastest
       way to get refunds.  That's an increase of 14.5 percent from last year.
 
     * Tax processing continues at rapid pace.  Workers at IRS Centers continue
       processing tax returns at an efficient rate with more than 83 million
       processed.  This rate closely matches last year's processing rate, which
       was the best in several years.  (Due to the calendar, last year's
       numbers include one more day of processing than this year.)
 
     * Phone service.  IRS assistors and automated systems answered more than
 
       59.2 million phone calls - a 16 percent increase from last year.
       Taxpayers who wished to speak directly to an IRS assistor got through
       66.5 percent of the time, up from 62.2 percent last year.
 
       The Service's correct-response rate also is improving. The cumulative
       correct-response rate on tax-law calls is 78 percent; while calls about
       individual accounts the rate is 88.6 percent.
 
     "These telephone results represent significant, clear progress toward our
 long-term access and quality goals," Rossotti said.  "It was made possible in
 part by new technology, which has been implemented during the last two years."
     According to Dalrymple, whose division has principal responsibility for
 the filing season, "While these upward trends are encouraging, especially
 occurring as we experienced the highest volume in our history, we are far from
 satisfied and are taking measures to ensure that taxpayers receive answers
 they can rely on."
     Rossotti noted the improvements came during a challenging period for the
 IRS.
     "This was the first filing season managed by the new organization, which
 went into effect just three months before the start of the filing season,"
 Rossotti said.  "We are pleased that we were able to provide significantly
 improved results in such a short time. This bodes well for our long-term goal
 of providing top-quality service on a par with the private sector."
     Rossotti thanked IRS employees for their long hours and hard work
 processing tax returns, answering telephone calls, visiting taxpayers and
 performing many other important tax administration duties.
     "With the reorganization, our employees had a lot on their hands this
 year.  But our people came through and delivered one of the smoothest filing
 seasons ever," Rossotti said.
 
 
                         2001 FILING SEASON STATISTICS
 
             Cumulative through the week ending 4/21/00 and 4/20/01
 
                                    2000                 2001         % Change
 
     Individual Income Tax Returns
 
     Total Receipts              113,718,000          109,513,000        -3.7
     Total Processed              83,618,000           83,031,000        -0.7
 
     (NOTE on Total Receipts:  because the tax deadline fell this week, IRS
      Processing Centers had not received and counted all timely filed paper
      returns by the cut-off date for this report.  (E-filing data is
      complete.)  Next week's data will give a more accurate comparison to the
      prior year's total receipts.)
 
     E-filing Receipts:
     TOTAL                        34,910,000           39,457,000        13.0
       TeleFile (phone)            5,142,000            4,400,000       -14.4
       Computer                   29,768,000           35,057,000        17.8
         Tax Professionals        24,856,000           28,412,000        14.3
         Self-prepared             4,912,000            6,645,000        35.3
 
     Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center:
 
     Number                       73,019,000           72,866,000        -0.2
     Amount of principal    $118.581 billion     $124.884 billion         5.3
     Average refund                    $1624                $1714         5.5
 
     Direct Deposit Refunds:
 
     Number                       27,238,000           31,178,000        14.5
     Amount                  $56.752 billion      $66.479 billion        17.1
     Average                           $2084                $2132         2.3
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X47526128
 
 SOURCE  Internal Revenue Service