Tax Webcast Describes Changes for 2002 Filing Season

Earlier this week, "Tax Talk Today" panelists brought good news to the millions of U.S. tax professionals as they discussed the major changes that await practitioners in the 2002 filing season.

In a live Webcast, experts from the IRS, the National Association of Enrolled Agents, and the Tennessee Society of Enrolled Agents, advised viewers that filing in 2002 will be simpler, faster, and safer for their clients as a result of the new reforms. The introduction of an improved practitioner hotline, the consolidation of refund-related mailings from the IRS, simplifications to the power of attorney clause, and the ability to file all forms electronically, were cited as changes that will bring added convenience to tax professionals.

Participants were able to heed advice from panelists, and pose questions for the hosts to answer. Addressing the improved practitioner hotline, John M. Dalrymple, Commissioner, Wage and Investment Division, IRS, noted that professionals will enjoy the increased consistency in service, and the geographic localization of service centers. This year, there will be five separate call centers for practitioners to call. "Through the practitioner hotline, we are showing that practitioners are our partners in tax administration," said Mr. Dalrymple. "This is definitely a win-win situation."

Sources for the information mentioned can be found at www.TaxTalkToday.TV by clicking on "Resources."

Webcast presenters discussed the ease that practitioners will find through electronic filing this year, as the IRS transitions to enable all forms to be filed electronically. Noting that e-filing saves time, tax dollars, and unnecessary paperwork, panelists pointed out that the process may even be safer for practitioners' clients, eliminating the possibility of mail theft or delivery delays. Furthermore, electronic filing helps to correct problems or inconsistencies in data, saving practitioners many headaches.

Mr. Dalrymple also took time to address the fact that this year the IRS will mail refunds and notices regarding refunds in the same envelope. Although a simple change, the fact that forms were mailed separately was a complaint frequently voiced by practitioners, the IRS found. The separate mailings created confusion for their clients, resulting in a high volume of calls to practitioners.

"Tax Talk Today" airs on the third Tuesday of every month at www.TaxTalkToday.TV and is archived on the site after each episode. Participants are eligible to receive CPE or CLE credits by viewing the archived version of "Tax Talk Today," and can visit the Web site for details.

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