The Internal Revenue Service announced the selection of five new members for the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee.

The Treasury Department and IRS Commissioner Mark Everson approved the new members to serve a three-year term beginning this month and ending in November 2009.

The group serves as a public forum for discussion of electronic tax administration issues and supports the goal of increasing electronic interactions between tax professionals and the agency.

Robert Meighan, vice president of the Consumer Tax Group for Turbo Tax at Intuit Inc. will serve as the chairman of the committee for 2007. Meighan has been a member of ETAAC since September 2005 and more than 25 years’ experience in the tax preparation industry as both a CPA and as a customer advocate at TurboTax.

ETAAC was created in 1998 as part of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act. Each June, ETAAC submits an annual report to Congress on the progress of the IRS’ electronic tax initiatives.

In April, the Senate Finance Committee questioned the ancillary offers often made as part of using the Internal Revenue Service's Free File online tax return preparation services and suggested that the agency look into allowing taxpayers to pay their taxes directly through the IRS Web site. Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson has also criticized portions of the program.

In total, more than 70 million e-file returns were accepted by the IRS for the 2005 tax year.

The new members of the committee are:

  • Chris Beach, the director of filing methods bureau for California’s Franchise Tax Board;
  • Sharon S. Gray, the director of Balance Consulting LLC, which provides tax reporting compliance education and consulting services;
  • Timothy S. Hubbs, president and chief executive of Drake Enterprises Ltd., a software provider to tax preparers for preparation and e-filing of tax returns;
  • Joan R. Ruff, assistant vice president of knowledge development for H & R Block; and,
  • Marquetta White, assistant director of taxpayer services for the Arizona Department of Revenue. 

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