An annual survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) shows that satisfaction with the IRS is at an all-time high. On 100-point scale, the IRS averaged a score of 75 among all individual tax filers.
The Feb 6. ACSI press release reveals a second straight year of increases for the IRS. The agency received an overall score of 70 in 2010 and 73 in 2011.
The survey categorizes individual scores based on the type of tax return being filed.
With a score of 79, the ACSI report shows that taxpayers who deal with the IRS in electronic tax return filing are satisfied with services provided. Small businesses and self-employed taxpayers ranked slightly lower, giving the IRS a score of 67. Large business and paper filers gave the IRS a score in the high 50s only.
The tax-season focus of the IRS has been on electronic filing for decades; the score of 79 reflects this. The IRS processes nearly 100 million e-filed tax returns annually.
Although lower, satisfaction scores for corporate taxpayers also rose over the same period, with the large business filers increasing from 55 to 57, and the small business / self-employed filers rising from 65 to 67.
Overall, citizen satisfaction with the federal government is 68.4 in 2012, up from 66.9 in 2011.
“Looking at the key factors that drive citizen satisfaction, the federal government has improved its marks for ease and efficiency of processes, customer service and information delivery,” says Claes Fornell, ACSI founder. “The most improved area for government, however, is website quality. Better government websites, coupled with more people making use of them, has contributed to higher levels of citizen satisfaction.”
According to the scores, the best federal agency services include the U.S. Mint (95), the Pension Benefit Guaranty retiree program (89), the Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online service (88), and the Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance loan programs for homeowners and renters (81 and 86).
Rounding off the lowest score were air carrier pilots who were polled about their satisfaction with the Federal Aviation Administration. Pilots gave the agency a score of 42.