E-filing bolsters IRS enforcement

Mark Everson

Hans Ericsson

Electronic filing has made dealing with the IRS easier for millions of taxpayers. The next step is to improve the effectiveness of the agency's investigators and auditors.

Taxpayers continue to shift from paper to online filing, with electronically filed returns running 10 percent ahead of last year.

'People are filing electronically in record numbers,' IRS commissioner Mark Everson said.

The next goal is to take the time saved processing electronic returns and focus IT assets on bolstering tax enforcement, he said.

Although the IRS has improved service to citizens through training for its personnel and new Internet services, enforcement has lagged. 'Most would agree that improvement of IRS taxpayer services was achieved in large part at the expense of needed enforcement activities,' Everson said last week during a speech in Washington.

It takes two years on average now before complicated corporate returns are put in the hands of an examiner. 'Electronic filing by corporations will facilitate our analysis of data and help us calibrate risk,' he said.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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