Are you dying to know what the IRS considers its highest priorities? … Probably not, but on April 5, 2012, IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman outlined the Service’s list of priorities in a prepared speech before the National Press Club.
There is no need to discuss the remarks in their entirety as they are lengthy (you can read it here), but the priorities are:
• Creating new capabilities and efficiencies through technology
• Rethinking and reimagining the IRS’s relationship with paid tax return preparers
• Leveraging data analytics for continuous improvement
• Enhancing our taxpayer service capabilities
• Transforming the agency to confront the challenges of a global economy, and
• Positioning the IRS workforce to make sure that we are prepared for tomorrow’s challenges.
The IRS is a leviathan, a division of the Department of the Treasury that includes more than 100,000 employees. Commissioner Shulman’s underlying theme is streamlining the IRS and making it a more efficient organization. Efficiency is not exactly the Service’s strong suit, but that does not mean, however, they should not try. In the past few years, the IRS unveiled “E-Services,” a web based suite of products designed to allow certain tax practitioners access to client tax accounts without having to call the IRS. Honestly, I love E-Services, but its abilities are still limited.
I plan to take a wait and see approach, but at least they are trying.