Business workshop: The future of tax filing

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A committee of accountants, tax preparers, attorneys and other tax professionals is recommending that the federal government implement standards of security, privacy and fraud protection for the electronic filing of taxes by individuals and businesses.

The recommendation came in this year's annual report by the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee. The committee's mission is to file an annual report detailing the progress the Internal Revenue Service is making to meet the Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 goals for electronic filing of tax and information returns.

Besides requesting approval of a standard for security and privacy, this year's report recommends that the IRS provide incentives for the public to e-file, and expand access to tax data and online tools to help in tax preparation. The report also calls for expanding partnerships between the IRS and tax software developers and tax preparation companies to simplify online tax compliance.

The report also asks Congress to approve funding to complete the implementation of software to improve and simplify the process of filing taxes electronically.

The 15-member advisory committee, composed of tax professionals appointed by the Internal Revenue Service for three-year terms, says it wants paperless filing to be the preferred and most-convenient method of filing tax and information returns (the goal is for a minimum of 80 percent of all individuals and businesses to file taxes online).

-- Herb Wolfson
Wittlin, Simon & Newman


Business workshop is a weekly feature from local experts offering tidbits on matters affecting business. To contribute, contact Business Editor Brian Hyslop at


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