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Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Thursday, November 02, 2000
NAEA: Expect a "Chaotic" Tax Season

Washington (Nov. 1, 2000) -- The upcoming tax season could prove to be chaotic, as the Internal Revenue Service irons out the kinks brought about by a major reorganization, says an industry observer.

National Association of Enrolled Agents executive director Jan Bray told the Electronic Accountant that since this is the first season for the newly revamped IRS, a lot could go wrong. "It's going to be a chaotic season," she said. "With any major reorganization there are some details you might not have thought about, and some that look good on paper but don't work in reality."

For instance, she said this is the first year that practitioner hotlines won't be in all the service centers, but the IRS hasn't indicated whether they will be increasing the number of people handling all the calls. Another potentially troublesome issue is that the addresses for where to send returns has changed, and the agency hasn't addressed the issue of 1040 filers who also have business expenses.

"Those filers would fall under the new small business division, but what if by accident they send their returns to the wage and investment division? When is it considered filed? We haven't gotten an answer on that yet," Bray said.

The NAEA is working up a list of such questions for the IRS and Bray hopes most of the problems will be solved before January. "If the IRS is responsive to our questions and acts on them quickly, these will just be bumps along the road. But if they get caught up in their bureaucracy, it could be a very difficult filing season," Bray said.

-- Tracey Miller-Segarra

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