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Federal Tax

IRS Invites Public to Apply to ETAAC

Tim Shaw  

Tim Shaw  

The IRS is seeking applicants to join its public forum on electronic tax administration issues for three-year terms beginning September 23. (IR 2022-215, 12/7/2022)

Established by Congress via the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee is comprised of tax practitioners, tax software experts, financial industry professionals, academics, and other individuals representing businesses, exempt organizations, and state agencies. Examples of ETAAC focus areas include identity theft prevention and curbing refund fraud.

On December 7, the IRS announced in a news release that qualified persons, such as those with experience in relevant areas like cybersecurity or tax preparation, can apply for nomination to the ETAAC until January 31, 2023. The application process entails a statement outlining qualifications, a tax compliance check, and an FBI background check.

ETAAC members meet five times a year for two-day sessions in Washington, D.C. Members are not paid, but travel expenses are reimbursed. According to the minutes from the ETAAC’s November 3 meeting, though, the committee met virtually. Topics addressed then included information returns, underserved community and small business outreach, and enhancements to ID theft tax refund fraud technology.

The committee submits an annual report to Congress with a list of recommendations for how Congress and the IRS can improve electronic tax administration and promote paperless filing. This year’s report, released in June, had five recommendations:

  • Set IRS appropriations for fiscal year 2023 before October 1, 2022, so staff could be trained before the launch of the Form 1099 portal and the next filing season in general.
  • Support the IRS monetarily and legislatively so the agency can fund initiatives akin to the Error Resolution System, an automation project to alleviate the burden of manual tax return error reviewers.
  • Implement enhancements to the Modernized e-File program in collaboration with states and software providers.
  • Conduct a year-long campaign consulting with stakeholders on the Identity Protection PIN program.
  • Develop a long-term roadmap for payroll and information return modernization.

“By optimizing technology in the right places, the IRS can provide high-quality customer service through a leaner, more agile workforce,” read the report’s opening letter from ETAAC Chair Courtney Kay-Decker and Vice Chair Jared Ballew. “In the end, a healthy IRS empowers taxpayers to access critical information at a time that is convenient for them in a manner that maximizes their ability to understand and comply with their tax responsibilities.”

Interested parties should complete Form 137468, Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee Membership Application, and send it to publicliason@IRS.gov.

 

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