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For Immediate Release
April 29, 2009
Media Contact: Joelle Jordan

IRS Oversight Board Commends IRS for its Five-Year Strategic Plan;
Long-Term Measures Highlighted

(Washington, DC) The Oversight Board is pleased with the release of the IRS Strategic Plan 2009-2013, which replaces the existing IRS Strategic Plan 2005-2009, and is viewed by the Board as a fundamental step for ensuring continued focus on strategic objectives for the U.S. tax administration system. The Board worked with the IRS in developing the plan, which will guide the IRS in achieving its primary goals: to improve service to taxpayers to make voluntary compliance easier and enforce the law to ensure all taxpayers meet their obligations to pay taxes.

The Board strongly advocated establishing major long-term, quantifiable measures to track the IRS’ progress over the next five years. These include:

  • A voluntary compliance rate of 86% by 2012
  • An American Customer Service Index score of 72 by 2013
  • An e-file rate of 80% by 2012
  • Employee engagement within the 95th percentile of large government agencies

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“The IRS is to be commended for its 2009-2013 strategic plan. It is forward-thinking, while recognizing past successes that can be built upon over the next five years. It also recognizes emerging trends such as globalization and the graying of the IRS workforce, while remaining committed to that essential balance between customer service and enforcement, which is critical to strengthening compliance,” said Board Chairman Paul Cherecwich.

Other Board News
At its April 23rd meeting, the Board and IRS leadership discussed the filing season, the IRS’ future and current budget, and its plans to refocus the development of its information technology.

This year’s filing season saw boosts in e-filing and improvements in tax law and account accuracy. The number of toll-free calls answered by live assistors was 13 percent higher than the same time last year, causing level of service on the IRS’ primary toll-free telephone line to drop to 63.3 percent, which is below target. The Board was also briefed on the IRS’ response to the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The Board was pleased at the speed with which the IRS implemented key provisions of the ARRA, such as the new withholding tables, the first-time homebuyer credit, and the COBRA premium repayment.

The Board discussed the IRS’ FY2009, FY2010, and FY2011 budgets. The IRS’ FY2009 budget, part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, was enacted in March and funds the IRS at $11.5 billion. The President will release his request to Congress for FY2010 funding for the federal government later this spring.

The IRS also provided a status report on its efforts to refocus its business systems modernization efforts. “The Oversight Board is looking forward to the day when the IRS doesn’t have to play ‘catch-up’ anymore,” said Chairman Cherecwich. “It doesn’t mean the end of modernization; it only means that the IRS shifts to managing its technology in a continuous, evolutionary way to the benefit of taxpayers.”

The Board’s next meeting will be September 3, 2009 in Washington, DC.


Last Updated: April 29, 2009