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Proposed Collection; Comment Request for IRS Taxpayer Service Benchmark Survey, Focus Group and Telephone Interview

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Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.


Notice and request for comments.


The Department of the Treasury, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). Currently, the IRS is soliciting comments concerning IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service Benchmark Survey, Focus Group and Telephone Interview.


Written comments should be received on or before June 10, 2003, to be assured of consideration.


Direct all written comments to Glenn P. Kirkland, Internal Revenue Service, room 6411, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20224.

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Requests for additional information or copies of information collection should be directed to Carol Savage, (202) 622-3945, or through the internet (, Internal Revenue Service, room 6407, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20224.

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Title: IRS Taxpayer Advocate Benchmark Survey, Focus Group and Telephone Interview.

OMB Number: To be assigned later.

Abstract: In September 2002, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) completed an extensive one-year research program that identified its target audience far more definitively. The research program showed that the actual target was much broader and included a wide mix of different life circumstances—ranging from Affluent Families and Empty Nesters at the higher end of the income scale, to the Stable Middle Class in the center, to Surviving Spouses, Struggling Young Families, and Unmarried Poor at the lower end of the income scale. The research also showed that Small Business Owners are an important element of the target audience, while Non-English speaking Taxpayers are not as important as had been believed (with the latter segment being no more prevalent in the TAS target audience than in the Total Taxpayer audience). TAS is planning communications to the Underserveds, with a focus on four key segments of the Underserved audience—Surviving Spouses, Struggling Young Families, Unmarried Poor, and Small Business Owners. It is necessary to conduct a marketing research effort to guide development of new communications and track their impact, while continuing the tracking of the target audience that is a part of the overall research strategy of TAS.

Current Actions: This is a new collection of information.

Type of Review: New OMB Approval.

Affected Public: Individuals or households.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,180.

Estimated Time Per Respondent: 5 hrs., 26 min.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 6,422.

The following paragraph applies to all of the collections of information covered by this notice:

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid OMB control number. Books or records relating to a collection of information must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law. Generally, tax returns and tax return information are confidential, as required by 26 U.S.C. 6103.

Request for Comments: Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to Start Printed Page 17862minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

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Approved: April 7, 2003.

Glenn P. Kirkland,

IRS Reports Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. 03-8962 Filed 4-10-03; 8:45 am]