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IRS Touts 2024 Filing Season Improvements

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Apr 16, 2024

With tax season 2024 concluded, the IRS highlighted some of its recent improvements, which, it said, provided expanded service for millions of taxpayers, Accounting Today and CPA Practice Advisor reported.

Chief among those improvements was answering one million more phone calls from taxpayers, helping 170,000 people in person, and experiencing 75 million more visits to, compared to last year.

The IRS credited the additional funding received from the Inflation Reduction Act for the productivity boosts, saying that it “continued to expand taxpayer service levels not seen in more than a decade with double-digit gains occurring in critical areas.”

“Taxpayers continued to see major improvements from the IRS during the 2024 tax season,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel in a statement. “A well-funded IRS is like night and day for taxpayers. With the help of more funding and added resources, service for taxpayers this filing season eclipsed levels seen during the past decade. This tax season meant real-world improvements for people looking for help, whether calling, visiting in-person or using”

“We still have much more work to do, both to finish the 2024 tax season as well as put in place continued improvements made possible by Inflation Reduction Act funding,” Werfel added. “But this filing season marks another important chapter where we’ve improved service for taxpayers, continuing an accelerating trend in the story of transforming the IRS.”

The IRS also reported processing more than 100 million individual tax returns through April 6. The agency also reported improved telephone service, due to the addition of 5,000 new telephone assistors, and more called answered, a 16.8 percent increase from 2023; faster response times; more callback options; and more in-person help; and additional free filing options, such as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), Direct File and Free File.

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation released its  annual tax complexity study on Tax Day, using the latest IRS data to estimate the compliance and time burdens associated with filing income taxes, Accounting Today reported. The study found that Americans have spent 6.5 billion hours preparing their income tax returns, with an "opportunity cost" of the time spent doing taxes taxes exceeding $280 billion for preparation alone. The average American individual income tax return now requires nine hours to complete.

While the IRS reported no major problems, for some last-minute tax filers, Tax Day was not smooth sailing. Those using H&R Block's desktop software encountered technological outages, The Wall Street Journal reported.  The problem started around 9 p.m. on April 14 and continued for most of April 15. An H&R Block spokeswoman told the Journal that the company fixed the problem by around 4 p.m. on the 15th. It notified clients via an in-product message and told people who called customer service that they could e-file their returns. H&R Block said it received about 2,000 inquiries related to the technology outage. More than 20 million taxpayers filed with H&R Block last year. 

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