IRS adds online tools for tax pros

The Internal Revenue Service has introduced Internet-based business tools for tax professionals.

Developed by Computer Sciences Corp. of El Segundo, Calif., as part of its IRS modernization contract, the tools are the first components of a suite of e-services tools.

E-services will streamline several processes tax professionals perform regularly and improve business collaboration with the IRS.

The three e-services applications include:

  • Registration. Before using other e-service products, tax professionals will register online and create an electronic account. The process is a one-time requirement for tax professionals to select a user name, password and personal identification number.


  • Preparer Tax Identification Number Application. This application allows a paid preparer to apply for and receive a tax number online. Anyone paid to prepare a tax return is required to sign the return and provide either a tax number or a Social Security number.


  • Interactive Taxpayer Identification Number Matching. This 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 payee TIN and name combinations against IRS records before submitting an information return, to prevent mismatches and possible penalties for the payer.


  • Future e-services include an expansion of TIN matching that allows for bulk matching of thousands of taxpayer identification numbers within 24 hours.

    The e-services initiative is part of CSC Prime Alliance’s IRS modernization contract, awarded in December 1998 to CSC and its team, including IBM Corp. of Armonk, N.Y.; BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va.; Northrop Grumman Corp. of Los Angeles; Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego; and Unisys Corp. of Blue Bell, Pa.

    The contract is worth $5 billion over 15 years.

    “The e-services applications are just a few of the major business system modernizations the Prime Alliance has completed for the IRS since 2000,” said Jim Sheaffer, general manager of the alliance. “The applications unveiled today are the first in a series of applications releases that will empower taxpayers to do more through the IRS’ Web site.”

    Patience Wait writes for Washington Technology magazine.

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