The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, in an audit to assess the IRS management of the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, found that business taxpayers were effectively transitioned to electronic payments, but were not always timely contacted when payments were missed.

EFTPS is a tax payment system that allows business and individual taxpayers to pay their federal taxes electronically via the Internet or telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, businesses not already required to use EFTPS were required to make their federal tax deposit payments electronically. The FTD Alert Program identifies, before the return is due, business taxpayers who have fallen behind in their deposits.

TIGTA found that the IRS took positive steps to communicate and educate business taxpayers about the new requirement, but did not always timely contact those taxpayers when they were not in compliance.

”I am pleased by the IRS’s action to communicate and educate business taxpayers about this new regulation, but the service must then ensure that revenue officers contact all business taxpayers about problems in a timely manner, since business taxpayers who are not contacted timely accrue more interest and penalties,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

TIGTA recommended that the IRS establish criteria for timely group manager assignment of FTD Alerts to revenue officers and emphasize to group managers the need to ensure that revenue officers contact business taxpayers within 15 calendar days of FTD Alert assignments. IRS officials agreed with TIGTA’s recommendations and said that they plan to take appropriate corrective actions.