The Internal Revenue Service: Bash It or Better It?

By Lear, Jeffrey A. | The National Public Accountant, November 1996 | Go to article overview

The Internal Revenue Service: Bash It or Better It?


Lear, Jeffrey A., The National Public Accountant


Over the next several months, the National Society of Accountants will have an unusual opportunity. The Society will be contributing to the work of a commission set up to evaluate the Internal Revenue Service from top to bottom and determine which functions are being done well, which functions need to be improved and which functions could be done better by outside contractors. The National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service will be evaluating everything from the tax laws Congress passes to the equipment and personnel that the Service uses to administer and enforce those laws. The National Society of Accountants must now decide whether its contribution to this commission will simply be a laundry list of complaints or a comprehensive plan for improving contacts between taxpayers and the federal government. That decision will be made based on the input of NSA members.

SHORT LIFE AND SPECIFIC GOALS

The legislation that created this commission gave it a very limited budget and a very short life span. It has exactly one year, which will end on July 1, 1997, to develop and present its recommendations for improving the nation's tax collection system. In that time period, the commission intends to:

* review the management and governance structure of the IRS;

* focus on ensuring that the American taxpayer receives high quality, courteous service from the IRS;

* study the quality of the IRS workforce;

* examine technology issues at the IRS;

* make the IRS financially accountable; and,

* address the complexity of tax administration. …

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