Reinventing the Internal Revenue Service: IRS and the National Performance Review

By Lear, Jeffrey | The National Public Accountant, November 1993 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Reinventing the Internal Revenue Service: IRS and the National Performance Review

Lear, Jeffrey, The National Public Accountant

Over the past several years, the Internal Revenue Service has been revamping its administrative structure and rethinking its relations with taxpayers and practitioners. More recently, Vice President Al Gore released the report of his National Performance Review (NPR), entitled From Red Tape to Results: Creating a Government that Works Better and Costs Less. This report makes numerous recommendations for improvements at IRS, many of which the Service was already on its way to fixing.

At NSPA's National Convention, Commissioner of Internal Revenue Margaret Richardson outlined several areas in which she felt voluntary compliance could be improved--one of the major concerns of the NPR. Following the release of the Vice President's report, the Service issued Fact Sheet 93-3, which reviews programs currently in place that will be charged with implementing the six major recommendations under the reinventing government plan.

Increasing Voluntary Compliance

The National Performance Review states its "support of the current efforts of the IRS under compliance 2000 to improve voluntary compliance and other efforts to collect taxes already owed to the Federal government." In her first few months, Commissioner Richardson indicated her commitment to the dual goals of returning nonfilers to the system while at the same time, keeping current filers from dropping out of the system. She noted several areas of compliance she would like to improve and asked NSPA to contribute ideas. These areas are:

* Improving compliance in small corporations;

* Increasing the effectiveness of the nonfiler initiative;

* Reducing opportunities for electronic filing fraud; and,

* Reducing complexity in the administration of the tax system.

She stressed the importance of communication between practitioner groups such as NSPA and the Internal Revenue Service in resolving problems with the system and improving voluntary compliance.

Modernizing the IRS

According to the NPR, the Service's Tax System Modernization (TSM) initiative, "currently in its initial stages, would ease taxpayer burdens due to manual return processing and inaccessible information, and enable IRS to provide a level of service comparable to private sector financial institutions." The Service notes that it plans to have its system technologically current by the year 2001, at a cost of $8 billion above what it would cost to keep the existing system running over the same period of time. IRS points out the following benefits already resulting from the TSM program:

* Enhanced efficiency in responding to taxpayer questions: Information regarding taxpayer accounts is now available to IRS employees on line, eliminating the delay in handling minor errors caused by retrieving taxpayer files from a central location.

* Prototype in place for paperless employment return filing: Taxlink, the Service's program that will eventually lead to filing of all employment tax documents electronically, is currently being tested with three banks in the southeast.

Fostering Federal-State Cooperative Initiatives by the IRS

Vice President Gore's report suggests that, "Cooperative relationships between the IRS and state tax administrations, including joint filing of data, should improve taxpayer service as well as collection activity while reducing costs." Already working on relations in this area, the Service notes that its FedState program encourages cooperation between Federal and state tax administrators and implements joint projects in tax administration. One of the cornerstones of this program is the coordination of joint state and Federal electronic filing, available in 15 states in 1993 with another nine states expected to participate next year. In 1994, the Service expects to see almost two million joint electronically-filed returns.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Reinventing the Internal Revenue Service: IRS and the National Performance Review


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?