After the release of a stinging report criticizing the Internal Revenue Service for shutting down the TeleFile program, leading members of the Senate Finance Committee lashed out at the IRS's decision.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said in the report that the shutdown of the TeleFile program may have saved the IRS some money in the short term, but it increased the cost and burden of filing a tax return for many taxpayers. The report noted that before the IRS ended the program in August 2005, about 4.4 million taxpayers were able to file simple tax returns for free annually by using their telephone keypads. The program had achieved satisfaction rates of 90 percent among its users, the majority of them earning less than $25,000 annually. But the IRS claimed that usage of the program was declining while the costs were rising.
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