The National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service began its work a year ago with the goal of making changes to restore the public trust in the IRS. The Commission’s goal was to recommend how the IRS might better serve the American taxpayer and the federal government in the twenty-first Century.
Through many hours of receiving input from taxpayers and tax experts, reviewing reports and documents, interviewing IRS employees at all levels, and studying private sector practices, the Commission developed a vision that would guide its final recommendations—a vision of a new, customer focused IRS for the next century. This vision embraces an efficient, service oriented institution dedicated to collecting the proper amount of tax through the use of taxpayer education, modern customer service practices, and effective law enforcement techniques. The motivated, skilled employees of this new IRS would receive the proper training, incentives, authority, tools, and management oversight to get the job done. This new IRS would be able to help people comply with a simplified tax code, while managing its data collection and taxpayer accounts according to methods and standards employed in the best private and public sector organizations. Finally, taxpayers would have adequate protections when the agency exercised its powers in an improper fashion.
The Commission challenges the Congress and the President to create an agency that fulfills this vision and responds to the needs of its citizens. The Commission measures the success of this challenge in a simple manner: when surveyed, the American people should overwhelmingly answer "yes" to the following questions:
· Was filing your tax return easier than the previous
· Did IRS personnel treat you respectfully and professionally?
· Were all of your questions and problems handled as smoothly as account inquiries with your bank, credit card company, or utility?
Favorable responses to all three questions, coupled with fair and professional law enforcement, would signal success in providing the American people with an IRS capable of world class service and citizen satisfaction.