Letter to the editor

I am writing to comment on a letter from Ace Cenek in the Aug. 19 issue of Federal Computer Week. Cenek is concerned about the cost to the public of filing tax returns via electronic methods.

Several constituencies are working for a piece of the electronic filing pie. Congress wants to increase the number of tax returns filed electronically in order to save processing costs and increase accuracy. The Internal Revenue Service has a statutory mandate to increase e-filing. The president, in his budget for fiscal 2003, has called for commercial software companies to compete in the process. The president believes that government should not compete with private companies in the marketplace. The Council for Electronic Revenue Communication Advancement (an industry group) wants to keep the IRS from offering software in competition with commercial companies.

Bottom line: The IRS must accept electronically filed returns. An increasing number of e-filings must be solicited every year. The IRS is not allowed to offer either free or low-cost software to the public to do the job. This would violate a current political tenet: Government must not compete with private industry.

The compromise, an agreement to allow a consortium to provide e-filing services, some for free, is the current solution.

Tom Hart Dedham, Mass.

WRITE US

We welcome your comments. To send a letter to the editor, use this form.

Please check out the archive of Letters to the Editor for fellow readers' comments.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.