IRS Internet Site Offers More Services to More
By Raymona Stickell
The Internal Revenue Service has
beefed up its Internet site http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/
to provide critical information to key stakeholders in the private
Tax Professionals Corner
The Tax Professionals Corner (look
under "Electronic Services") links to items on the Digital
Daily page that are helpful to the tax professional. We want to
make this easy for tax professionals to find everything they need.
The Digital Dispatch e-mail list server allows users to sign-up
to our e-mail service and receive the latest news. Itís part of
our continuing efforts to offer the taxpaying public easy assess
to important upcoming tax dates, whatís new on our web site, new
tax forms and publications, news releases, and special IRS announcements.
We have signed up over 20,000 subscribers so far.
Many Media, Many Services
Tax practitioners, state governments,
and payroll accountants can obtain the easy-to-use IRS CD-ROM
tax products. The IRS fax system allows those without computers
to retrieve a last minute Extension to File or other tax forms
and information. Taxpayers may also choose to retrieve tax information
from our electronic bulletin board system. Using a central text
and graphics repository of core business information, based on
international standards, Electronic Information Services has made
it easy to publish tax information in a variety of electronic
media on a daily basis. From this central repository, the IRS
publishes to Internet, electronic bulletin board, CD-ROM, and
fax systems. For example, a tax form that is ready to print at
5:00 p.m. will be automatically loaded to the IRS Internet and
electronic bulletin board systems in less than 24 hours from the
repository. Millions of taxpayers benefit from these services.
Taxpayers who access information
or downloaded files donít have to call on the telephone to order
and wait a week or more to receive tax forms and publications,
but get them in minutes -- electronically. We even had customers
access our services from ships at sea. The IRS information is
downloaded and used by many professional associations, commercial
tax services, tax software developers, state governments, printers,
universities and public libraries who redistribute the information
to millions more. The electronic information services are available
24 hours a day and are updated daily, so taxpayers can be sure
of getting the most current tax forms.
Frequently-Asked Questions and Other
Taxpayers and tax practitioners
like the convenience of getting tax information they need. Beyond
forms and publications, there are answers to frequently asked
tax questions, information resources for persons with disabilities,
tax regulations, a where to file map of the states, and an electronic
tax calendar. We took great care to test the on-line systems to
ensure accessibility by visually impaired and blind users.
Electronic Services Cost Less
These services have provided better
customer service and reduced the burden to the taxpayer by making
forms available at the touch of their fingertips. The online services
are less expensive than other methods of distributing tax forms
and information. Our costs for taking forms orders by telephone
and mailing them to taxpayers are approximately $3.00 per customer.
On the Internet, customers can be served for just pennies each.
About the Author
Raymona Stickell is National Director,
Multimedia Production Division, at the Internal Revenue Service
in Washington, DC. You may contact her at (202) 622-7000.