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Taxpayer Rights Assessment

In the 2013 Annual Report to Congress, the National Taxpayer Advocate proposed a “report card” of measures that “…provide a good indication whether the IRS is treating U.S. taxpayers well and furthering voluntary compliance.”

On June 10, 2014, the IRS adopted a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR), a list of ten rights that the National Taxpayer Advocate recommended to help taxpayers and IRS employees alike gain a better understanding of the dozens of discrete taxpayer rights scattered throughout the multi-million word Internal Revenue Code. While this was a significant achievement, more can be done. The Taxpayer Rights Assessment contains selected performance measures and data organized by the ten taxpayer rights. It takes us one step closer to integrating taxpayer rights into tax administration.

This Taxpayer Rights Assessment is a work in progress. The following data provide insights into IRS performance, but are by no means comprehensive. And, despite what the numbers may show, we must be concerned for taxpayers who still lack access to services and quality service even when performance metrics are increasing. This Taxpayer Rights Assessment will evolve as data becomes available and new concerns emerge.


The Right to Be Informed – Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. They have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcomes.

Measure/Indicator FY2014
Individual Correspondence Volume (adjustments) 5,700,132
      Average Days in Inventory 57.6 days
      Inventory Overage 63.6%
Business Correspondence Volume (adjustments) 3,471,571
      Average Days in Inventory 39 days
      Inventory Overage 17.5%

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The Right to Quality Service – Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.

Measure/Indicator FY2014
Number of Returns Filed (projected, all types) 244,429,200
Total Individual Income Tax Returns
E-file Receipts (Received by 11/21/14) 125,821,000
E-file: Tax Professional 62%
E-file: Self Prepared 38%
Returns Prepared by:
      VITA / TCE / AARP 3,322,582
      Free File Consortium 2,406,465
      Fillable Forms 478,501
      IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) 376
Number of Taxpayer Assistance (“Walk-In”) Centers 382
Number of TAC Contacts 5,477,279
Total Calls to IRS 100,667,411
Number of Attempted Calls to IRS Customer Service Lines 86,171,857
Toll Free: Percentage of calls answered (LOS) 64.4%
Toll Free: Average Speed of Answer 19.6 minutes

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