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Issue 40513

Methods to assist taxpayers who visit a TAC without an appointment

Project Statement: The IRS website states that taxpayers who need in-person help from an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) must call to schedule an appointment. All TACs provide service by appointment. The ability to work with taxpayers in-person is an essential IRS service when a tax issue cannot be resolved online or by phone.

The IRS recommends that taxpayers consider the self-service options available on IRS.gov before calling for an appointment. Many questions can be resolved online without traveling to a TAC. Publication 5136, IRS Services Guide, includes additional information about where to find help.

Many taxpayers with special needs require “Walk-In” service and others prefer1 in-person service and TACs currently offer this service on a limited basis. However, in-person service is difficult to obtain for taxpayers living in many areas of the country and frustrates their efforts to obtain information necessary to comply with IRS requirements and meet their tax obligations.

Goal Statement: To implement an appointment system that reduces the burden on taxpayers in need of in-person assistance to obtain information necessary for tax compliance and consult with TAC experts.

TAP RECOMMENDATION

A modified scheduling system should be implemented to permit taxpayers without an appointment to walk into a TAC office and receive service. A reasonable number of open time slots would be available. IRS employees should be scheduled to exclusively be available for walk-ins. Additional open time slots would be created when taxpayers fail to show up at their assigned appointment time. When arriving at a TAC office, taxpayers without appointments should be provided an estimated wait time and taxpayers should be encouraged to make an appointment to minimize wait times.

IRS Action:Not adopted

Thank you for identifying issues that taxpayers face when attempting to locate a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). The IRS appreciates your research and recommendations to benefit both the IRS and the taxpayer.

The Field Assistance Scheduling Tool (FAST) does not need to be modified to allow a reasonable number of open time slots to be available to permit taxpayers without an appointment to walk into a TAC office and receive service.

Field Assistance current appointments procedures already accommodate taxpayers who walk-in and receive service without an appointment, if we have capacity to do so. For example, if a taxpayer arrives without an appointment, we will see if we have an appointment available and offer the taxpayer the next available appointment the same day. If there is a hardship situation and no appointment is available, managers will make an exception and advise the taxpayer that they may have to wait while we see if someone does not show up for their appointment, or if an appointment takes less time than scheduled. Managers will work with to ensure these taxpayers are seen within the shortest time possible without adversely impacting other appointments. Additional open time slots are created when taxpayers fail to show up at their assigned appointment time. Currently, taxpayer appointments are cancelled 15 minutes after their scheduled appointment time. These cancellations open additional slots for walk-in taxpayers to receive service on the same day.

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current report

2019 TAP Annual Report

The 2019 TAP Annual Report highlights our key recommendations to improve IRS customer service and summarizes our key accomplishments and activities, including the 224 recommendations submitted to the IRS in 2019.

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