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Do It Yourself Tax Preparers Watch Out: Tax Answers From IRS Centers Oftentimes Are Incorrect And/Or Insufficient

"Taxpayers are likely to receive poor service from [IRS] Taxpayer Assistance Centers." Maybe that’s what you think, but the government thinks so too—the quote is from the Inspector General’s (IG) Office of the U.S. Treasury.

An IG survey of 47 Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) found incorrect tax answers from IRS personnel 49% of the time, and insufficient answers 24% of the time. That’s 73% of the answers incorrect or insufficient. The IG report said "We believe that situations like this will further drive taxpayers who currently prepare their own tax returns to use paid tax practitioners."

The TACs scored better on politeness. The IRS staff surveyed were discourteous 4% of the time.

The survey was begun in the Clinton Administration and completed in the Bush Administration. TACs "served" some 9 million taxpayers in fiscal 2000.

For further information, contact James J. Holtzman, CPA at (412) 635-9210 or

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