INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
FixERS Tool Team
SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNERS
During 2020 and 2021, the IRS was faced with an unprecedented challenge due to changes to tax laws and benefits administered through the tax system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, by 2022 the IRS had accumulated a large backlog of on-hand inventory and was anticipating a challenging filing season. Potentially millions of taxpayers would have complicated and challenging tax situations leading to unintentional filing errors. These errors, resolved by our Error Resolution System (ERS) and employees, were often quickly reviewed, resolved, and processed, however in the face of the existing backlog and pandemic situation, IRS leadership was concerned about potentially lengthy delays.
Spurred by their dedication to service and a desire to minimize the impact on millions of taxpayers, a virtual team stood up to expedite the creation, development and delivery of the automated “FixERS” tool. Developed in just four (4) short months, FixERS assists with the processing of millions of 2022 tax returns expected with incorrect claims for 2021 Economic Impact Payments and Recovery Rebate Credit payments previously requiring a manual touch. FixERS is capable of processing over 1,000 returns per employee per hour, automating the resolution and processing of 17M returns and handling follow-on actions including adjusting the taxpayer’s account, sending a taxpayer notice, and releasing refunds. The rapid design and development of this tool was due to the close partnership and dedication of a blended, virtual team who committed to the demanding project schedule required to deliver a tool of this complexity, scope, and scale in a greatly expedited timeframe.
The innovative and rapid work of the FixERS team enabled the IRS to stay current with resolving these accounts and releasing the correct refund to the taxpayers entitled to a refund. By just the end of March 2022, FixERS was credited with processing over 7 million tax returns while saving more than 40,000 hours of labor and enabling IRS to remain timely with peak inventory despite the closure of one service center in late 2021.