IRS wants to know how it can improve service to persons living abroad:
See below portions of a letter recently received from a person living outside the U.S. This letter, sent from a division of the IRS, invites persons to fill out a survey on the “unique perspective” of people like us with the aim of improving IRS services.
Apparently there will be 4000 such requests mailed out (out of 7 million or so US people abroad). The IRS survey help desk advised me over the phone that the 4000 names are provided by the IRS to the survey company.
It appears that the invite will be sent to some US persons abroad who have NEVER had an interaction with the IRS.
How does the IRS discover such never-filers? According to a past survey discovered by @MyKitty:
“Nonfilers with a perceived filing obligation were identified through their information on the IRS
nonfiler database and matched to passport data from the U.S. Department of State.”
A never-filer with filing obligation would never ever respond to an IRS online survey. Right?
Not true. 16% of nonfilers with a perceived filing obligation actually responded to the 2011/2012 survey.
The helpdesk will not provide survey questions to me, but I may be able to obtain the questions and if so will add these to this post.
Here is the letter (I have boldened a few sentences):
Dear [ ]
Help us improve our services!
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is currently conducting the 2014 IRS Survey of Individuals Living Abroad with the help of an independent research company, ICF International.
I invite you to participate in this important study seeking to understand the unique perspectives of individuals living outside the continental United States (U.S.).
Even if you have never had an interaction with the IRS [If you never had an interaction with the IRS, what should be your response to this invitation?], your insights are still extremely valuable in helping us improve our services for individuals living abroad, including those living in U.S. territories.
ICF International will not provide any identifying to the IRS and will keep your identity private to the extent permitted by law.
….Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary; however by completing this survey, you will help the IRS develop a comprehensive portfolio of service improvements. The service should take about 10 minutes to complete.
You do not need to wait for the paper survey if you prefer to take the survey online….entering password…
I am personally committed to improving service to individuals living abroad. Please help me…If you wish to verify the IRS’s sponsorship….
[Part of fine print at bottom of letter: “The information you provide may be disclosed to an IRS contractor when authorized by law.”]