Many Unhappy Returns: One Man's Quest to Turn Around the Most Unpopular Organization in America

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Harvard Business Press, 2005 - Business & Economics - 340 pages
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When Charles O. Rossotti became Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service in 1997, the agency had the largest customer base—and the lowest approval rating—of any institution in America. Mired in scandal, caught in a political maelstrom, and beset by profound management and technology problems, the IRS was widely dismissed as a hopelessly flawed enterprise. In Many Unhappy Returns, Rossotti—the first businessperson to head the IRS—recounts the remarkable story of his leadership and transformation of this much-maligned agency. In the glare of intense public scrutiny, he effected dramatic changes in the way the IRS did business—while it continued to collect $2 trillion in revenue. Through fascinating accounts of heated Congressional hearings, encounters with Washington bigwigs, frank exchanges with taxpayers and employees, and risky turnaround strategies, Rossotti serves up a colorful story of leadership and change against daunting odds. He also underscores why every honest taxpayer should demand reform in the broader U.S. tax system. Infused with keen wit and hard-won business wisdom, Many Unhappy Returns illuminates the perils and possibilities of leading large, complex organizations in a transparent world.
 

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Contents

The IRS Is Out of Control A Growing Crisis
7
Operating on Good Sound Business Principles A Family Tradition
26
Youre Gonna Do What? From Businessman to Taxman
38
Promising Everything to Everybody Will Not Get Us There Regaining the Initiative
54
If You Already Have an 83000Page Rules Manual Will More Rules Solve Your Problems? Legislating Change
72
So Many People So Much Distrust Rebuilding Relationships
82
Will People Always Hate the Tax Collector? Changing the Culture
104
When Everybody Is Your Customer and the Tax Code Is Your Bible Providing Quality Service
128
You Want More Money After Wasting 4 Billion on Computers That Dont Work? Modernizing IRS Technology
196
The CoverUp Is Worse Than the Crime Averting and Managing Crises
222
Why People Think the IRS Picks on the Little Guy and Lets the Big Guy Get Away Making the IRS Effective at Enforcing Compliance
240
The IRS Cant Fix the Tax Code and the Budget What Honest Taxpayers Should Demand
270
What the Story Tells Us
288
IRS Budget and Productivity How the IRS Uses Its Budget
302
Notes
308
Bibliography
318

When Are You Going to Fire the Management and Punish the Wrongdoers? Reconciling the Past While Focusing on the Future
150
Replacing the Furnace in the Basement and Calling It a Christmas Present Reorganizing the IRS
166

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Page 312 - Law 105-277), the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-206...

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