November 09, 1998
IRS Declares Nov. 14 as Special
Taxpayer Problem Solving Day
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service will
reach out to help taxpayers across the country Nov. 14 in a special Saturday
trouble-shooting program aimed at helping people with tax problems.
At 41 locations, taxpayers will be able to cut through red tape by getting
one-on-one help from IRS experts.
The weekend event marks the one-year anniversary of Problem Solving Day, the
IRS program that has resolved more than 30,000 taxpayer problems. The program has become a
cornerstone of the agency's new emphasis on taxpayer service.
"Problem Solving Day shows how we're doing things differently at the IRS
these days," said Charles Rossotti, Commissioner of Internal Revenue. "We want
to go the extra mile to help taxpayers, which includes working on the weekend."
"Problems can -- and do -- get fixed with this program," said
Taxpayer Advocate Val Oveson, whose office runs Problem Solving Day.
The November meetings will take place simultaneously in each of the 33 IRS
districts, with several of the branches holding sessions at more than one site. Top agency
administrators and other experts will gather for face-to-face meetings with individual
taxpayers about their problems.
"These sessions present an opportunity for many taxpayers to quickly iron
out their problems," Oveson said.
That's because IRS district administrators will be in the same room at the same
time tackling the same questions. In some cases, issues that can take weeks to get sorted
out can be worked out during one sit-down meeting.
"People will be able to slice through the red tape by having the complete
attention of the agency's decision-makers," Oveson said. "We'll have the right
people in place with the expertise and the ability to get things done."
During the past year, the IRS resolved 31,482 cases that were brought to the
agency's attention during Problem Solving Day program. More than half the cases revolved
around seven issues raised by taxpayers: audit reconsiderations, compromise offers,
installment agreements for tax payments, requests for technical or procedural
explanations, questions about IRS inquiries, tax penalties and inability to pay.
Surveys show taxpayers like the program. In July, a survey of participants
showed 89 percent gave the program's overall service a grade of six or seven -- the
highest scores possible.
A year ago this weekend, the IRS launched Problem Solving Day following
concerns about taxpayer treatment. What emerged was an innovative approach of opening IRS
doors on the weekend and bringing agency workers together to brainstorm on solving
More than 6,200 taxpayers attended the first Problem Solving Day, which was
conducted simultaneously across the country. Subsequent sessions were held once a month,
with the time and location varying by district.
"With this program, we've come a long way in the last 12 months to help
out taxpayers," Rossotti said. "But more needs to be done. This past year
represents a down payment on what we must continue doing in the future -- putting taxpayer
Like last year's inaugural Problem Solving Day, the Nov. 14 event will be
conducted from coast-to-coast.
Taxpayers interested in attending are encouraged to make reservations by
calling their local IRS office or the national toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040. People
can also visit without an appointment, but a reservation will help ensure the right IRS
workers are available to deal with their situation. Sometimes, just making the call to the
IRS can clear up the problem without making a visit to Problem Solving Day.
"If people are having trouble getting a tax problem worked out, Nov. 14
will be a golden opportunity for them to visit with our people and find a solution,"
Problem Solving Day Cities
Anchorage (800) 829-1040
Laguna Niguel (949) 360-2178
Los Angeles (213) 894-8852
Sacramento (510) 637-4359
San Jose (408) 494-8285
Denver (303) 571-4402
Hartford (860) 240-4156
Fort Lauderdale (954) 423-7684
Maitland (904) 232-1542
Atlanta (404) 331-3485
Honolulu (800) 829-1040
Chicago (312) 886-0550
Indianapolis (317) 226-5081
New Orleans (504) 558-3019
Baltimore (410) 962-9337
Boston (617) 565-1628
Detroit (313) 628-3670
St. Paul (651) 290-3061
Chesterfield (314) 539-6900
Cherry Hill (973) 921-4377
Paterson (973) 921-4377
Brooklyn (718) 488-3601
Buffalo (716) 551-4574
Manhattan (212) 436-1013
Greensboro (336) 378-2334
Akron (513) 684-3094
Oklahoma City (405) 297-4745
Portland (503) 326-3295
Pittsburgh (412) 281-0281
Providence (401) 528-4317
Nashville (615) 736-5423
Austin (512) 499-5000
Farmers Branch (972) 308-1019
Fort Worth (817) 978-3477
Houston (713) 209-4506
Richmond (804) 771-2292
Kennewick (800) 829-1040
Charleston (804) 771-2292
Milwaukee (414) 297-1260
San Juan (501) 787-4501
Previous | Next
1998 IRS News Releases | News Releases Main | Home