Secretary Statements & Remarks

Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen During a Press Call on IRS Filing Season 2024

As Prepared for Delivery                                                   

Good morning.

For decades, the Internal Revenue Service had been underfunded, leading to poor service that caused challenges and frustrations for taxpayers.

But since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and its historic investment in the IRS, it’s made tremendous progress toward becoming a world-class tax agency.

Americans interact more with the IRS than with any other federal agency.  Meeting your tax obligations each year and claiming the credits and deductions for which you’re eligible should be as easy as possible.

The IRS is significantly improving customer service.  It’s modernizing its technology.  And it’s strengthening enforcement against high-income individuals and large corporations who have avoided paying their full tax bills, leading to increased fairness in the tax system and reducing the deficit.

Last November, I laid out several aggressive goals for the 2024 filing season to build on the improvements the IRS made for taxpayers in 2022.

Today, I am delighted to share that the IRS has met or exceeded each of these goals.

First, the IRS achieved an 88% Level of Service, exceeding the 85% target I set.

The agency answered nearly 9 in 10 calls with an average of three-minute hold times, exceeding our five-minute target. And we expanded the customer call back option, saving taxpayers 1.4 million hours on hold.

This is a far cry from two years ago, prior to the IRA, when the IRS was answering fewer than 2 in 10 calls with nearly 30-minute average hold times.

Second, in-person service drastically improved. The IRS provided an additional 11,000 hours of in-person service this filing season compared to last year. And the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program prepared an additional 180,000 returns.

Third, online service has been transformed. This filing season, the popular “Where’s My Refund?” tool incorporated conversational voice bot technology to help taxpayers get answers more quickly.

And it provided clearer and more detailed information taxpayers viewed 31million times so they could fix errors and receive their refunds faster, without needing to contact the IRS.

These accomplishments show that the IRS’s strong performance last filing season was not a fluke. This filing season, the IRS has built off past successes and reached new milestones.  It’s showing that when it has the resources it needs, it will provide taxpayers the service they deserve.

I thank Congress for its support. We will continue to work with Congress to ensure the IRS has the resources to sustain this momentum.

And I thank Commissioner Werfel and all IRS employees for their tremendous efforts.

I’ll now turn to Commissioner Werfel.