TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, March 25, 2013

IRS Releases Gilligan's Island Parody Training Video

Gilligan's IslandFollowing up on Saturday's post, IRS Admits Spending $60k on Star Trek Parody Training Video Was a Mistake:  the IRS has now released its Gilligan's Island parody training video. From Accounting Today:

The Gilligan’s Island video provided filing season training for 1,900 employees in the IRS’s Taxpayer Assistance Centers in 400 locations.”This example of video training alone saved the IRS about $1.5 million each year compared to the costs of training the employees in person,” said the IRS.

“This approach reflects a newer IRS model of using video to dramatically save on training and travel costs,” the IRS explained. “Using video provides a more cost-efficient way of doing business than face-to-face meetings.”

The 2011 Gilligan’s Island segment is the introductory portion of a 12-hour video training series on a variety of  tax law and filing season topics, including remittance procedures; physical and data security in the  taxpayer assistance center; assisting taxpayers with federal tax deposits; ITIN/ATIN and PTIN Inquiries; interactive tax law assistant; quality defects; dependents; energy and education credits; installment agreements; identity theft; adjustments; examination issues; individual retirement accounts; conducting payment processing reviews; analyzing business objects reports; resource tools; and other topics.‬ The Gilligan’s Island themed opening, dubbed "Field Assistance Island," was used to engage employees in the issues to be discussed over the 12 hour training.

(Hat Tip: Jon Forman.)

Update:  New York Times:  IRS Videos Come Under Fire

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If IRS opened its own video law school, where would it rank?

Posted by: Bob | Mar 25, 2013 9:08:24 AM

It goes without saying that the IRS saves a goodly sum of money ($1.5 million a year, or more, or less) by offering its employees remote video training, rather than face-to-face training. Layering stupid video parodies of Gilligan's Island and Star Trek on top of such remote video training is inexplicable from the standpoint of cost savings. "Field Assistance Island"? Really? The IRS should archive these videos deep in the earth so that 25th century archeologists will have something to puzzle over.

Posted by: Jake | Mar 25, 2013 5:28:22 PM