TIGTA Reports on Cost of Undeliverable IRS Mail

A report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released on July 15, 2010, as part of the Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Audit Plan, indicates that the volume of undeliverable mail sent by the IRS costs taxpayers millions of dollars. When mail cannot be delivered, the amount a taxpayer can owe may grow as interest and penalties multiply. In Fiscal Year 2009, approximately 19.3 million pieces of mail were returned, at an estimated cost of $57.9 million. In a random sample conducted by TIGTA of 331 returned notices and letters, 37 percent could not be delivered because the address was invalid or nonexistent; 35 percent were sent to addresses on the envelope but the taxpayer to whom the mail was addressed did not reside at the address; 24 percent were refused by the taxpayer or the taxpayer was not available to receive certified or registered mail; and 4 percent were returned for other reasons. TIGTA found that there are opportunities to reduce the volume, through customer service, system enhancements, and some industry best practices. TIGTA recommended that taxpayers be able to change their address by phone, and on any notices requiring a response or a payment voucher. Address hygiene software should be used to ensure accurate and complete addresses on outgoing mail. The IRS agreed with all of TIGTA’s recommendations.

TIGTA Press Release: Current Practices Are Preventing a Reduction in the Volume of Undeliverable Mail

TIGTA Report: Current Practices Are Preventing a Reduction in the Volume of Undeliverable Mail (Reference Number: 2010-40-055)

A report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released on July 15, 2010, as part of the Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Audit Plan, indicates that the volume of undeliverable mail sent by the IRS costs taxpayers millions of dollars. When mail cannot be delivered, the amount a taxpayer can owe may grow as interest and penalties multiply. In Fiscal Year 2009, approximately 19.3 million pieces of mail were returned, at an estimated cost of $57.9 million. In a random sample conducted by TIGTA of 331 returned notices and letters, 37 percent could not be delivered because the address was invalid or nonexistent; 35 percent were sent to addresses on the envelope but the taxpayer to whom the mail was addressed did not reside at the address; 24 percent were refused by the taxpayer or the taxpayer was not available to receive certified or registered mail; and 4 percent were returned for other reasons. TIGTA found that there are opportunities to reduce the volume, through customer service, system enhancements, and some industry best practices. TIGTA recommended that taxpayers be able to change their address by phone, and on any notices requiring a response or a payment voucher. Address hygiene software should be used to ensure accurate and complete addresses on outgoing mail. The IRS agreed with all of TIGTA’s recommendations.

TIGTA Press Release: Current Practices Are Preventing a Reduction in the Volume of Undeliverable Mail

TIGTA Report: Current Practices Are Preventing a Reduction in the Volume of Undeliverable Mail (Reference Number: 2010-40-055)

AUTHOR

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is a leading provider of software solutions and local expertise that helps tax, accounting, and audit professionals research and navigate complex regulations, comply with legislation, manage their businesses and advise clients with speed, accuracy and efficiency. Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is part of Wolters Kluwer N.V. (AEX: WKL), a global leader in information services and solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services. Wolters Kluwer reported 2016 annual revenues of €4.3 billion. The company, headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs 19,000 people worldwide. Wolters Kluwer shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY).

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