December 03, 1998
IRS Unveils Strategic Plan for
Electronic Tax Administration
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service today unveiled a
sweeping plan to move its electronic tax programs into the next
"Electronic Tax Administration, A Strategy for Growth," details
the mission, goals and tactics for revolutionizing how taxpayers
transact and communicate with the IRS. It lists 45 initiatives that
over the next five years will lead to a future where taxpayers and
authorized tax practitioners will not only be able to file and pay
taxes electronically, but also retrieve copies of returns, receive
help and inquire on their account status, all electronically and
from the privacy of their homes or businesses.
"The ETA blueprint is a key component of the IRS modernization
effort and represents an important step toward our goal of providing
world class customer service," said Charles Rossotti, Commissioner
of Internal Revenue. "This year, nearly 25 million taxpayers enjoyed
the benefits of electronic filing--security, virtually error-free
returns and refunds in half the usual time."
Rossotti noted that while the IRS is the largest processor of
information in the world, the system is still bound by paper.
Major electronic initiatives for the upcoming filing season
include several pilot projects, which will provide electronic
payment options and a paperless filing experience for those eligible
to participate. Two pilots will allow taxpayers to file Form 1040
returns electronically and pay any taxes using a credit card. Two
other pilots will permit the use of a Personal Identification Number
(PIN) as the taxpayer's signature, thus eliminating the need to file
a paper signature.
Two primary goals underlie the ETA strategy:
By the year 2007, IRS wants to do business electronically
with 80% of U.S. taxpayers and
For taxable years beginning after 2001, IRS wants all
returns that are prepared electronically to be filed
In addition to documenting ETA's success to date and painting an
encouraging picture for the 1999 filing season, the initial version
of the Strategic Plan projects nearly a tripling of taxpayers
e-filing their Form 1040s based on currently implemented or funded
programs. As future initiatives are enacted, increases in
projections are expected.
The Strategic Plan was released during a meeting of the
Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC). The panel
provides a public forum for the discussion of ETA issues, and will
play an important role in the ongoing development and implementation
of the new strategy. Both the ETAAC and the Strategic Plan are
required by the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act.
"The Strategic Plan should be viewed as an evolving document,"
said Bob Barr, IRS Assistant Commissioner, Electronic Tax
Administration. "It will be adjusted annually to reflect suggestions
and comments that are received and to account for new developments
Updates to the ETA Strategic Plan will be issued each June, in
conjunction with the ETAAC's annual report to Congress on the status
of Electronic Tax Administration, Barr said.
To obtain a copy of the document, visit the IRS Website at
www.irs.ustreas.gov or call the ETA office at 202-622-7990.
The IRS welcomes comments on the ETA Strategic Plan. Comments
should be mailed to: Assistant Commissioner, Electronic Tax
Administration, 1111 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20224;
faxed to 202-622-6264; or e-mailed to *firstname.lastname@example.org.
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