The IRS's Learning Agenda supports the Department of the Treasury's Learning Agenda in meeting the requirements of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018. The IRS’s Learning Agenda is aligned to the four strategic goals in this plan. The Learning Agenda guides research to produce evidence that policymakers can use for data-driven decision making. This research can fill critical information gaps, focus strategic efforts, better allocate resources and facilitate the anticipation of risks. Conducted through an annual Evaluation Plan, the research informs questions relevant to each goal and helps the IRS understand how to better accomplish strategic priorities.

As a bureau of Treasury, the IRS takes frequent steps to align its research and evidence-gathering activities with the Department of the Treasury. The IRS develops its own Learning Agenda to better narrow research questions to its mission while still supporting Treasury priorities. Both a working group of diverse participants and a research community of nine IRS organizations are dedicated to addressing the following research questions:

Goal 1 | Service

Provide quality and accessible services to enhance the taxpayer experience.

  • How can the IRS address taxpayer needs and preferences to deliver a better taxpayer experience?*
  • How can the IRS simplify interactions for taxpayers, such as providing more self-service options, improving processes for filing, responding to audit notices or examinations, correcting returns and remitting payments?*
  • How can the IRS identify potential issues as they occur and engage taxpayers in the resolution process in as near real-time as possible?

Goal 2 | Enforcement

Enforce the tax law fairly and efficiently to increase voluntary compliance and narrow the tax gap.

  • How can the IRS use information reporting, artificial intelligence, data and advanced analytic techniques to narrow the tax gap, improve compliance and diminish repeat non-compliance?*
  • What new data or analytic advances could the IRS take to identify emerging non-compliance issues and address the tax gap?

Goal 3 | People

Foster an inclusive, diverse and well-equipped workforce and strengthen relationships with our external partners.

  • How can the IRS recruit, train, retain and equip its workforce to support the current and future goals of the IRS?
  • How can the IRS design an effective plan for leadership succession and invest in future leaders through management programs, training and skill building?

Goal 4 | Transformation

Transform IRS operations to become more resilient, agile and responsive to improve the taxpayer experience and narrow the tax gap.

  • How can the IRS modify policies, processes and technology to improve operational efficiencies, narrow the tax gap and coordinate across business units?
  • How can the IRS capture and provision data in a way that maximizes the use of electronic data across the IRS?

*IRS Learning Agenda question included in Treasury's Learning Agenda