Thursday, October 27, 2005

IRS torn between enforcement and e-filing

Aliya Sternstein writes in

Internal Revenue Service officials say they are caught between devoting technology resources to booking tax evaders and helping taxpayers file electronically.

Addressing a tax industry group yesterday, Mark Matthews, the IRS’ deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, said the agency needs to expand e-file and build an enterprise data warehouse that the chief financial officer’s division could use to track tax collections.

By law, the agency must receive 80 percent of all tax returns electronically by 2007. The agency also needs a tax collection data warehouse, which the Government Accountability Office highlighted in its review of the IRS’ fiscal 2004 financial statements. GAO found weaknesses in the IRS' ability to track unpaid taxes and minimize improper refund payments.


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