IRS Employees Go Back to School

Critics of the Internal Revenue Service have complained that the IRS employees provide incorrect answers on how to comply with the tax code. Many of those erroneous answers and suggestions are apparently based on a lack of general accounting knowledge among IRS employees.

To combat this problem, the IRS has developed a comprehensive plan to educate IRS employees in basic and intermediate accounting principles, finance, tax law, and other business school subjects.

To hold down the cost of this training, on-line courses have been developed that will enable IRS employees to learn these skills via computer, either on-the-job or in the comfort of their homes.

As incentive to follow through with the training, IRS employees will be tested after each phase of their training and promotions will be coordinated with skills learned. The accounting classes will be offered through a group of 15 colleges, known as the IRS University Consortium, that have agreed to work with the IRS in this project. Credits earned from taking these classes may be applied toward college degrees.

A pilot program has been conducted wherein some of the course material was fine-tuned to meet the expressed needs of IRS employees. The IRS training was officially launched last week with 700 IRS employees enrolled in the first battery of classes. It is expected that more than 3,000 IRS employees will enroll in classes this summer.

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