Innovations include government's most downloaded app
Today’s digital-savvy consumers are always online—streaming videos, banking, or engaging in social media discussions. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) knew they needed a better way to reach those consumers.
Filing taxes is never easy, so how do you make it as effortless as placing an Amazon order? The IRS turned to Booz Allen for help. With a digital-first strategy and improved digital solutions, we helped the IRS boost yearly revenue from electronic payments by $62 billion in 4 years while putting digital government into the hands of taxpayers.
Interacting with the IRS was confusing and frustrating. Even people with simple, quick requests, like an address change, ran into issues.
The agency’s website was complicated to navigate, and when consumers called in, they often would wait on hold for too long. As a result, many simply gave up. Add to that the complicated forms and complex formulas that have many taxpayers scratching their heads, and it’s clear the IRS had an image problem.
The IRS embarked on a strategic effort to change that—with a vision to redefine the taxpayer experience and deliver high-quality, easy-to-use, low-cost online services consumers crave.
From the program’s inception, Booz Allen has been the IRS’s essential partner. From creating a digital-first strategy and establishing the Office of Online Services—the first full-service digital office within an agency—we delivered a broad set of capabilities to help the IRS realize its vision.
Our team used a variety of methods to help transform the taxpayer experience, including data-driven experience design to redefine how taxpayers interact with products and services and enhanced web analytics to transition taxpayers from window shoppers to buyers. In addition, secure authentication and authorization improved access while detecting fraud by highlighting abnormal user behavior and suspicious activity.
“Our work at the IRS is not about taxes. It’s about the IRS starting a new conversation with the American people.”
- Chris Bagley, program manager
At the Office of Online Services, our team of user experience (UX) designers, data scientists, digital and marketing strategists, and information architecture specialists developed and improved more than 25 digital products.
Take IRS.gov. We designed a fully responsive, secure, and mobile-friendly user interface to simplify online tax information, post it faster, and expand support to increase customer adoption. We also migrated and deployed more than 125,000 pages of crucial tax-related content.
Booz Allen also developed the first-ever Online Account tool—a single taxpayer access point, where they can securely check balances and refund status, make payments, and download transcripts. This reduces customer service costs the IRS incurs from nearly $60 to less than $0.60 apiece while boosting annual revenue from electronic tax payments by $62 billion in 4 years.
We also developed the IRS2Go mobile app. It provides customers with real-time notifications and compliance updates—like returns accepted, refund status, and more—on their smartphones. It’s the most downloaded government mobile app ever—clocking in at 11.5 million downloads (and counting).
The IRS’s digital-first strategy is working. In fiscal year 2018, customers interacted online with the IRS 609 million times, visitors got answers to tax questions on IRS.gov 494 million times, and IRS2Go became the most popular mobile app in the Federal Government, allowing users to check refund status 118 million times. It’s digital self-service at its best.