March 03, 1998
Better Customer Service
on IRS Phone Lines
WASHINGTON - More hours on
Internal Revenue Service telephone lines have meant fewer busy signals and quicker access
for callers. The IRS nearly doubled its hours of service this year, from 50 to 96 hours a
week. Lines for both live assistance and forms orders are open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00
p.m., Monday through Saturday.
"Our goal is to provide taxpayers consistently first-rate
service," IRS Commissioner Charles 0. Rossotti said. "Our longer hours for this
season are a step in this direction."
As of Feb. 21, over 14 million callers had reached the IRS
assistance and forms lines this filing season, about 100,000 more than the same period
last year. But callers encountered nearly 7 million fewer busy signals.
Calls to TeleTax -- the automated refund and tax information
service -- were up more than 2.5 million, to 14.8 million calls answered. Refund
information is generally available for touch-tone callers from 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
weekdays. Recorded tax topics are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The number for live assistance is 1-800-829-1040;
for IRS forms or publications: 1-800- TAX-FORM (1 -800-829-3676);
for TeleTax: 1-800-829-4477.
1998 FILING SEASON STATISTICS
Cumulative through the week ending 2/28/97 and 2/27/98
1997 1998 % Change
Individual Income Tax Returns
Total Receipts 39,050,000 38,761,000 -0.7
Total Processed 24,488,000 26,950,000 10.1
E-filing -- Total Receipts:
Standard E-file 10,117,000 12,184,000 20.4
TeleFile 3,282,000 4,102,000 25.0
Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center:
Number 22,486,000 24,614,000 9.5
Amount of principal $32.979 b. $36.836 b. 11.7
Average refund $1467 $1497 2.0
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