IRS Launches First of Online Business Tools


J

John H. Fisher

IR-2003-128, Nov. 6, 2003

IRS Launches First of Online Business Tools

WASHINGTON  The Internal Revenue Service has launched the first of a
suite of Internet-based business tools that give tax professionals and
financial institutions easier access to client information.

Known collectively as e-services, the suite of products provides tax
professionals with new choices for working electronically with the IRS.
The first three products provide a foundation for future services that
will significantly enhance how the IRS does business with tax
professionals and those who file selected information returns, such as
banks and other financial institutions.

"These new e-services begin a series of steps that will improve how tax
professionals interact with the IRS," said IRS Commissioner Mark W.
Everson. "Through the use of technology, we are working to simplify and
reduce burden on thousands of tax professionals and more than 4 million
firms that send us special information returns."

Three e-services applications are being introduced today:

Registration  Before using other e-services products, tax professionals
must register online to create an electronic account. The registration
process is a one-time process for tax professionals to select a user name,
password and personal identification number. An on-screen acknowledgment
immediately confirms the registration process. For security purposes, a
confirmation code is also mailed to the tax professional to complete the
registration process.

Preparer Tax Identification Number Application  The Preparer Tax
Identification Number, or PTIN application, lets a paid preparer apply for
and receive a PTIN immediately over the Internet. There is no longer the
need to complete and mail a paper Form W-7P. It reduces processing time
and input errors associated with a paper application. Anyone paid to
prepare a tax return must sign the return and provide either a PTIN or a
Social Security Number. The ability to substitute a PTIN for a Social
Security Number began in 1999 to address concerns that clients and others
outside the IRS could use a preparers Social Security Number
inappropriately.

Interactive Taxpayer Identification Number Matching  Interactive Taxpayer
Identification Number Matching, or TIN Matching, is a new, pre-filing
service offered to banks or others that pay income subject to backup
withholding. Authorized payers can match up to 25 taxpayer identification
number and name combinations against IRS records before submitting an
information return. Results of the match are returned within seconds. This
pre-filing check prevents mismatches and possible penalties for the payer.
In the past, only federal agencies could request TIN matching.

Future e-services include an online application for those who want to
become authorized e-filers, an expansion of TIN Matching that allows bulk
matching of thousands of Taxpayer Identification Numbers within 24 hours,
and special incentive products for e-filers who file more than 100
electronic returns.

Tax professionals can register for e-services immediately through the Tax
Professional's page on IRS.gov.

E-services joins several IRS Business Systems Modernization products
already working to reduce taxpayer burden and improve IRS employees
service to taxpayers. These new products and services include:

 Customer Communications  Modernized call systems cut by half taxpayers
call-waiting time and the number of abandoned calls. It also introduced
bilingual voice recognition capabilities, which helped double the number
of Spanish calls.

 Wheres My Refund?  Provides taxpayers with their refund status over
the Internet. Taxpayers used the service more than 17.6 million times in
2003.

 Wheres My Advance Child Tax Credit?  Gives taxpayers the status of
their Advance Child Tax Credit checks over the Internet. So far, taxpayers
have used the service nearly 15 million times.

 Customer Relationship Management  Provided nearly 4,000 revenue agents
with direct laptop access to tax computation software.

 Internet EIN  Allows small businesses and others to apply for and
receive an Employer Identification Number online. The IRS has issued more
than 380,000 EINs through this online application process.

 HR Connect  Allows 73,000 IRS users to perform many personnel actions
online.

Links on IRS.gov:

 E-services Registration 
https://la.www4.irs.gov/e-services/Registration/index.htm

 What are the e-services products? 
http://www.irs.gov/taxpros/article/0,,id=107478,00.html



"Jack" - John H. Fisher - (e-mail address removed)
Philadelphia, Pa - Atlantic City, NJ - West Wildwood, NJ
My Newsgroups & Boards at: http://members.aol.com/TaxService/index.html

Where Ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise!=:)
 
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