National Taxpayer Advocate Testifies on IRS Oversight

February 25, 2015

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson testified today at a U.S. House Appropriations Committee hearing on “Internal Revenue Service Oversight.”

The following is an excerpt from her written testimony:

In my 2014 Annual Report to Congress, I designated inadequate taxpayer service as the #1 most serious problem for our nation’s taxpayers. This year, taxpayers are receiving the worst levels of taxpayer service since at least 2001, when the IRS implemented its current performance measures.

From January 1 through February 14, the IRS answered only 43 percent of the calls it received from taxpayers seeking to speak with a customer service representative, and those who managed to get through waited on hold for an average of about 28 minutes. By comparison, 77 percent of taxpayers got through and waited on hold an average of about 10 minutes during the same period last year.

Simply put, the IRS has to do a better job of meeting taxpayer needs.

Read her full testimony.

View the video of the hearing webcast.