Agency: Department of Treasury
Title: Internal Revenue Service Center in Fresno
Fresno is one of the largest of the ten IRS Centers and serves taxpayers in Hawaii and most of California. In tax year 1993, more than 25 million tax returns were processed and total revenues of more than $188 billion were collected, representing 14 percent of total IRS revenues nationwide. During the same period, the Center processed more than $12 billion in refunds for taxpayers, with an accuracy rate of 97.6%.
The Center has experienced a number of successes in its pursuit of quality. With a focus on the taxpayer as the "primary customer," Fresno began a program of assigning Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN) by telephone after 1986. Previously, the assignment of TIN to businesses had taken 4 to 6 weeks. The Tele-TIN program proved so successful that IRS Headquarters mandated implementation in all IRS Centers. Since the program began, more than 566,000 TINs have been issued by telephone at Fresno alone.
Similarly, in an effort to better serve Spanish-speaking taxpayers, the Center devoted two telephone lines for Spanish language use in 1992. During the nine-month period ending September 30, 1993, a total of 15,573 calls were answered resulting in a one-stop service closure rate of 96.1 percent and an accuracy rate of 98.3 percent. Approximately 74 percent of the calls concern refund inquiry issues and this service has proven extremely valuable to Spanish- speaking taxpayers. In 1993, Fresno expanded to ten lines to provide Spanish assistance throughout the entire IRS Western Region.
Fresno's quality journey began in 1986 with the formation of Juran teams for quality improvement. In 1987, they entered into an historic agreement with the National Treasury Employees Union that initiated the IRS/NTEU Joint Quality Improvement Process. The biggest challenge of their effort has been to raise a quality consciousness and bring about cultural change in a large and complex organization.
Main NPR Category: Customer Service
Contact Person: Michele Steinhauer
Contact Phone: (209) 456-5397
Fresno, CA 93779