IRS communications project goes live

IRS communications project goes live

The IRS' $74 million Customer Communications Project 2001 went live on July 27 and handled up to 68,000 calls in one three-hour period last week, officials said.

The project, aimed at improving the efficiency of responses to taxpayer inquiries over toll-free lines, offers:

  • A language choice of Spanish or English
  • An options menu with an intelligent call router that transfers callers to customer service representatives
  • A voice-response unit that tackles simple queries such as 'Do I have a refund coming?'
  • An automated refund status application that tells callers the status of their tax refunds.

Prime contractor Computer Sciences Corp. worked on the project with Aspect Communications Corp. of San Jose, Calif., AT&T Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., and Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego.

With two language options, the IRS can communicate with far more taxpayers, said Rick Skorny, director of Tax Administration Modernization. Taxpayers can dial by Touch-Tone telephone or, if they have rotary phones, use the voice recognition features.

Skorny said the project, which began more than two years ago, is an early milestone of the IRS modernization blueprint.

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