TEI testifies before the IRS Oversight Board on customer service needs of taxpayers: February 8, 2006.

Position::Tax Executives Institute

On February 8, 2006, TEI Senior Vice President David L. Bernard testified before the IRS Oversight Board on the customer needs of taxpayers. TEI's testimony was prepared under the aegis of its IRS Administrative Affairs Committee, whose chair is Kelly A. Nall of Electronic Data Systems Corporation in Plano, Texas. Ms. Nall accompanied Mr. Bernard to the hearing.

Good afternoon. I am Dave Bernard, Vice President--Taxes, Kimberly-Clark Corporation. I also serve as Senior Vice-President of the Tax Executives Institute, the preeminent association of business tax professionals and am pleased to participate in today's hearing of the IRS Oversight Board.


Tax Executives Institute was established in 1944 to serve the professional needs of in-house tax practitioners. Today, the Institute has 53 chapters in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Our 5,800 members are accountants, attorneys, and other business professionals who work for 2,800 of the leading global companies; they are responsible for conducting the tax affairs of their companies and ensuring their compliance with the tax laws. TEI represents the business community as a whole, and our members deal with the tax code in all its complexity, as well as with the Internal Revenue Service, on almost a daily basis. TEI is dedicated to the development and effective implementation of sound tax policy, to promoting the uniform and equitable enforcement of the tax laws, and to reducing the cost and burden of administration and compliance to the benefit of taxpayers and government alike.

The companies that employ TEI's members have almost without exception been assigned to the IRS's Large and Mid-Size Business (LMSB) Division. The largest 1,600 taxpayers within LMSB are subject to ongoing audits as part of the Coordinated Industry Cases (CIC) program. The Institute's testimony is largely based upon our experience with this segment of IRS operations. We are pleased to offer our views on the customer service needs of taxpayers within the IRS and, more particularly, LMSB.

Defining Good IRS Customer Service

  1. Currency. In its notice on this hearing, the IRS Oversight Board notes:

    The IRS has shown considerable progress providing customer service during the past five years. Service levels have improved to the point where it is no longer axiomatic that service needs to be improved. The IRS may have arrived at the point where service levels are good enough, or close enough to the desired...

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