Americans Prefer Filing Tax Returns to Flying

The latest report of the American Customer Satisfaction Index shows that individuals rank the IRS over airlines in terms of satisfaction with federal government agencies and other consumer services.

The IRS garnered a satisfaction rating of 62% in the survey, representing an 11% increase over 2000 rating of 56%. Notably, 77% of individuals who file tax returns electronically expressed satisfaction with the IRS, whereas the nation's pencil pushing taxpayers rated the IRS at only 52%.

Analysts theorize that the increased score for the IRS is a direct result of responses from those taxpayers who filed tax returns electronically, and that the combined experience of efficiency and rapid refunds produces a positive reaction among taxpayers. It is also noted that those who have filed electronically may be pleasantly surprised by the ease of the process, having had low expectations of IRS services in the past.

Interestingly, the IRS score of 62% is slightly higher than the score earned by commercial airlines. People surveyed for the Customer Satisfaction Index ranked the satisfaction level of the experience of flying on commercial airlines at 61%. It should be noted that this measurement was determined early in 2001 - prior to the tragic events of September 11.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index is compiled each quarter by the University of Michigan Business School in partnership with the American Society for Quality, and CFI Group, and international management consulting firm. The results described herein reflect the index for the first quarter of 2001.

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