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ETAAC is a volunteer panel established by Congress in 1988 to provide public input into the development and implementation of the IRS organizational strategy for, as the name says, electronic tax administration.

To that end, ETAAC researches, analyzes, considers, and makes recommendations on a wide range of electronic tax administration issues, such as taxpayer experience, identity theft, and refund fraud. ETAAC also contributes to the development of the IRS strategic plan.

The recommendations in this latest ETAAC report, according to its preface, “are built on the premise of developing and implementing a tax system that better meets the needs of American Taxpayers. … This report is written to align with the IRS mission and proposes actionable recommendations that align with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Strategic Operating Plan.”

Following are the dozen recommendations, with the 1-9 tasks for the IRS, and 10-12 for Congressional consideration:

  1. Enable Application Programming Interface (API) access to taxpayer information to disrupt scams, and to promote modernization, accuracy, security, and efficiency in the taxpayer experience.
  2. Remove barriers to electronic filing while enhancing security by developing an alternative to the Self-Select PIN process with a more secure IRS e-file PIN.
  3. Promote greater information sharing with states and industry partners of homogenized tax data, metrics, year-over-year metrics, and seasonal information.
  4. Conduct a cost/benefit analysis of free tax filing services for individual tax return preparation to expand and optimize access to underserved taxpayer groups using data.
  5. Implement standardized validation rules of user provided data to enhance the accuracy and integrity of the data received by the IRS.
  6. Enable tax professionals with proper authorization (i.e., Forms 8821, 8655, 2848) to access taxpayer information online.
  7. Enable third-party authorization forms (8655, 8821, 2848, etc.) to be submitted and verified online.
  8. Facilitate electronic filing for certain low volume information returns and other non-cyclical filings.
  9. Create a sunset project plan for the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) and Affordable Care Act Information Returns (AIR) systems to be integrated into the Information Returns Intake System (IRIS) to reduce taxpayer burden.
  10. Increase funding for the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS).
  11. Provide statutory authority to the IRS to regulate noncredentialed tax return preparers to standardize knowledge, ability, and data security in the tax system. Several legislative attempts to provide the IRS with the legal authority to regulate tax professionals have been introduced on Capitol Hill over the years. None has made it into law. Specifically, ETAAC report’s first legislative opportunity would “Authorize the IRS to regulate noncredentialed tax return preparers to prevent harm to taxpayers and the tax system.” “The IRS and Taxpayer Advocate have unimpeachably presented statistics demonstrating that non-credentialed tax return preparers are responsible for a disproportionate share of erroneous returns,” according to the ETAAC report.
  12. Support good tax administration.

Read the full report by ETAAC here .