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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

IRS has an app!

The IRS has been adding new uses of technology in its outreach to taxpayers and tax practitioners. For example, they have some interactive web features (such as checking if a taxpayer received a recovery act payment), webinars, Twitter and YouTube, and now an app for your smartphone (IRS2go) where you can check the status of your refund and get tax tips. See IR-2011-8, Jan. 24, 2011. You can also follow the Taxpayer Advocate on Facebook.

I think this all represents interesting possibilities for compliance. For example, taxpayers could get a notice that a reporting form for them has been received by the IRS. The IRS could do the first determination of an individual's tax liability based on the information it receives including W-4 information on filing status and number of dependents. It would show this on the phone or web device and the individual could say, correct, please file, or good starting point for me to finish the return.

What do you think? What more could the IRS be doing to use technology to make compliance and administrative more efficient and user friendly?

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