Service Level Expectations for IRS 4506-T Processing

Current Conditions
The first half of 2015 has certainly been challenging and downright frustrating for the IRS and all entities depending upon IRS information, including IRS Tax Transcripts.  The IRS units that process 4506-Ts have found themselves hamstrung by the ongoing political battle between the IRS and Congress, as both Houses seeks to punish the Internal Revenue Service for extra scrutiny leveled against the Tea Party and other conservative groups from 2010-2012.  The battle resulted in Congress authorizing $11.3 billion for the Service’s 2014-2015 budget, which was $526 million below its 2013 budget and $1.7 billion less than President Obama requested.
The IRS announced more bad news this May, when they reported that their “Get My Transcript” web portal was criminally accessed earlier this year, prompting the IRS to suspend the service indefinitely.  NCS does not use the “Get My Transcript” web portal to access IRS Tax Transcripts, nor in any of its communication with the IRS.
What does this mean for 4506-T processing?
The IRS will conclude its final push to close out the filing season with the processing of amended returns in mid-June.  The IRS has not publically announced its new standard turn-time for Tax Transcripts, but it’s expected the IRS will target a 65-72 hour goal for fulfilling requests.  This is an improvement over the past 4 months that have averaged a 5+ day turn-time.
Additionally, the IRS continues to stabilize its delivery platform for Tax Transcripts, although during the week of May 25, all entities obtaining IRS Tax Transcripts were denied access to the portal or received poor performance from the platform, further delaying requests.  Per IRS sources, NCS expects these incidences to significantly drop as stress on IRS IT infrastructure will lessen as the filing season concludes.
What happens next year?
This depends heavily upon the outcome of the on-going Capital Hill IRS appropriation discussions.  If the IRS is again denied appropriate funding to perform their mission for the US Public, expect turn-times similar to the end of May, early June when turn-times averaged 4 days.  As a bright spot, we should see a fairly stable IRS e-Services platform which would be a performance improvement.
NCS representatives have advocated for a system to system communication protocol to improve turn-time and the security of the information exchanged.  IRS officials recently acknowledged that a presentation for such a solution has been made to IRS counsel and that they are waiting for an initial response.  If such as solution was implemented, it would dramatically increase customer satisfaction and performance for 4506-T processing.

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