For a government agency with such a bad rap in popular culture, the Internal Revenue Service performed well in a recent survey asking taxpayers to comment on customer service levels.In October 2005, the IRS Oversight Board hired Roper Public Affairs to conduct a study of U.S. taxpayers to gain a better understanding of customer service needs and expectations; taxpayers' views of major customer service programs offered by the IRS and preferences for the various IRS service channels; and how the agency could better tailor its services to meet taxpayers' needs.

Among the IRS service channels studied were service by phone, in-person visits to IRS offices, visits to the IRS Web site, e-mail communications and correspondence by mail. The study included 1,000 taxpayer households and a supplemental sample of 101 individuals who had visited an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

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