Washington (Dec. 15, 2003) -- The Oversight Board of the Internal Revenue Service said it’s unlikely that the agency will meet its congressionally mandated goal of having 80 percent of individual electronic tax returns filed electronically by 2007.

"Although potential incentives [exist], reaching the 80 percent goal at this point requires a major and most likely unrealistic change in tax preparer and taxpayer behavior,” the board said in its annual electronic filing report to Congress. The board called for broader e-filing educational and marketing efforts, and possible additional benefits and incentives for e-filers.

Meanwhile, a separate report by the Oversight Board noted that virtually all of the agency’s projects with a major impact on improving customer service and internal operations and productivity were experiencing serious delays and cost overruns. In that report, based on an independent review of the IRS’s Business Systems Modernization Program, the board called for close monitoring of the prime contractor's performance, with a change if significant improvements were not quickly made.

"The board still believes that the overall modernization plan is sound and well-designed," board chair Nancy Killefer said. "We hope that this rigorous and honest analysis and the recommendations contained in it will help get the BSM program back on track."

-- WebCPA staff

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