The Internal Revenue Service has improved its hiring time according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
When investigators checked in 2009, some IRS offices were taking five months to hire new personnel. Now, most offices are close to meeting the agency goal of taking no longer than 80 days to get new hires. The IRS reported it hired about 19,000 people in 2011.
One of the most drastic improvements has been in the IRS Information Technology organization, which was taking seven months to bring new people aboard. Now that wait time has been cut down to 90 days, investigators said.
Criminal investigators for the Internal Revenue Service need to make sure they are taking and passing required firearms training, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA.
"TIGTA found that CI’s firearms training and qualification requirements generally met or exceeded those of other Federal law enforcement agencies. However, TIGTA found that some CI special agents did not meet all firearms training and qualification requirements," said the report.
Internal Revenue Service employees did not always involve taxpayer's representatives when contacting them about disputes, said a report by the Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration.
Taxpayers have the right to appoint a representative when dealing with a variety of tax matters. But the study found some IRS employees were contacting the taxpayers directly instead of the representatives, not sending paperwork to the representatives, or not allowing taxpayers enough time to get a representative.
The Treasury Department has successfully implemented oversight to stop potential conflicts of interests involving funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Congressional investigators said.
The oversight is designed to stop situations such as an individual having stock or financial interests in a company receiving TARP money which may color their judgement, said the report by the Government Accountability Office.
A new telephone system developed by the Internal Revenue Service has vastly improved customer service and has allowed taxpayers to better connect with auditors and receive answers to their questions, said a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
The Internal Revenue Service lacks proper data to evaluate its new efforts to provide customer service, according to a watchdog report.
The nation's tax agency has implemented a number of new initiatives, including video conferencing technology to help taxpayers who need assistance. But the IRS doesn't have the information yet to evaluate if the programs have been effective, said the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
The inspector general recommended the agency develop goals and measurements to evaluate the new programs.
The Internal Revenue Service's program for new employees could improve to help the recent hires feel more confident and happy in their job, said a review conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
The IRS asked the inspector general to review its "onboarding process" for making new employees feel welcome and giving them the skills they need to perform their jobs. The review found some managers were not following IRS guidelines, and the agency needs to continue getting feedback from employees in order to improve the program.
The Internal Revenue Service has increased its examination of municipal bonds as that area of debt has expanded, said a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
State and local governments owe more than $3.7 trillion dollars in municipal bond debt, the report said. Tax on income from the interest on the bonds could reach $310 billion, but the interest is tax exempt, the study said.
The Internal Revenue Service is improving its ability to process tax returns on a daily basis, making the process safer and getting refunds to taxpayers sooner, according to a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
In the first four months of 2012, the IRS had processed 71 million tax returns using the daily process, the report said.
Employees at the Internal Revenue Service were pressured by their supervisors to ignore potential fraud in a program designed to give taxpayers identification numbers, according to an investigation by an internal Treasury Department watchdog.
The Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers program was designed to provide ID numbers to people ineligible for Social Security Numbers. The IRS processed more than 2.9 million tax returns from members of the program in 2011, the report said.