DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20220
INSPECTOR GENERALfor TAXADMINISTRATION
September 10, 2001MEMORANDUM FOR COMMISSIONER, SMALL BUSINESS/SELF-EMPLOYEDDIVISIONCOMMISSIONER, WAGE AND INVESTMENT DIVISIONFROM:(for) Pamela J. GardinerDeputy Inspector General for AuditSUBJECT:Final Management Advisory Report - The Electronic Tax LawAssistance Program Outperformed Other Free Internet WebSites in Answering Small Business and Self-Employment TaxLaw QuestionsThis report presents the results of our 50 test questions on small business and self-employment issues that were posed through the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS)Electronic Tax Law Assistance (ETLA) Program during the 2001 Filing Season.
Theobjective of this review was to provide a qualitative comparison of the accuracy andtimeliness of responses to tax law questions on small business and self-employmentissues submitted through the Internet to the IRS and commercial web sites that offerfree tax advice. This review was initiated at the request of the Senate Small BusinessCommittee as a follow-up to our prior review, performed during the 2000 Filing Season,which showed the IRS promptly answered 90 percent of the test questions but correctlyanswered only 54 percent of them.
In summary, we found that the IRS responded to 98 percent of the questions on thesame day or the following day. This performance surpassed the IRS’ goal ofresponding to questions within 2 business days and represented an improvement whencompared to the results of our test from the 2000 Filing Season. In addition, the IRS
The filing season is the period from January through mid-April of each calendar year during which most taxpayersfile their income tax returns.
Management Advisory Report: Comparison of Responses to Small Business/Self-Employed Taxpayer Questions from the Electronic Tax Law Assistance Program and Other Internet Tax Law Services
(Reference Number 2000-30-126, dated September 2000).