The IRS Automated Collection System or ACS is a critical part of the IRS’s overall Collection program. It plays a vital role in securing and protecting the revenue of the United States. Its work with delinquent taxpayers is a major factor in determining the IRS’s success in meeting the Collection program’s mission, which is:

To collect delinquent taxes and secure delinquent tax returns through the fair and equitable application of the tax laws, including the use of enforcement tools when appropriate, provide education to customers to enable future compliance, and thereby protect and promote public confidence in the American tax system.

The ACS has 15 call sites in the Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE) and Wage and Investment (W&I) Divisions. The SB/SE and W&I Divisions also have a total of five ACS support sites that support the call sites by resolving written correspondence from taxpayers, taxpayer representatives, and/or third-party contacts.

ACS Call Site and Support Site Locations are as follows:

SB/SE Division Call Sites W&I Division Call Sites SB/SE Division ACS Support W&I Division ACS Support
Oakland, California Fresno, California Cincinnati, Ohio Fresno, California
Denver, Colorado Jacksonville, Florida Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Atlanta, Georgia
Des Moines, Iowa Atlanta, Georgia Kansas City, Missouri
Detroit, Michigan Kansas City, Missouri
Brookhaven, New York Buffalo, New York
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Austin, Texas
Nashville, Tennessee Seattle, Washington
Puerto Rico

Source: Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) analysis
of the SB/SE and W&I Divisions’ ACS call and support site information.

Contact representatives at the ACS call sites are responsible for answering incoming taxpayer calls and working the inventory of Taxpayer Delinquent Accounts (TDA) and Taxpayer Delinquency Investigations (TDI).

TDAs and TDIs in ACS inventory are created after prior efforts to collect unpaid balances via notices have been unsuccessful. Cases are systemically assigned a priority based on ACS risk categories. Once inventory is assigned, the ACS systemically routes the inventory to the appropriate inventory work stream, depending on the type of activity that the cases require. Inventory cases routed to the ACS fall into one of three work streams:

  1. Contact (communication is needed with the taxpayer).
  2. Investigation (information needs to be verified).
  3. Research (the taxpayer’s location or other information needs to be determined).

Taxpayer calls to the ACS call sites are typically due to one of the following:

  1. ACS case actions. Taxpayers may call the ACS in response to ACS case actions which include letters to the taxpayer, liens, levies, and predictive dialer callbacks.
  2. Calls systemically routed from the Accounts Management (AM) function. Taxpayer calls to the AM function toll-free product lines in which the taxpayer’s identification number meets the ACS routing criteria[2] are systemically routed from the AM function to the ACS.
  3. Calls manually transferred from AM function employees. Taxpayer calls originally routed to an AM function employee who determines that the taxpayer’s identification number meets the ACS routing criteria are manually transferred from the AM function to the ACS.

The Joint Operations Center is responsible for creating the schedules for call handling at each of the ACS call sites. The number of taxpayer calls that can be answered is dependent on the number of available employees at all ACS call sites. Not all calls are answered because the ACS does not have the resources to answer 100 percent of incoming taxpayer calls. The ACS Level of Service goal establishes the percentage of incoming taxpayer telephone calls the ACS expects to answer.

The Joint Operations Center is also responsible for the actual routing of the taxpayer calls to the ACS. The Joint Operations Center uses a call routing system that links all of the ACS call sites into a single “virtual” call center. Each taxpayer call is routed to the next available contact representative regardless of where the contact representative is located.

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