Prefers Paper Filing

BY JAMES G. FAWLS

It’s Time to E-File ”( JofA, Nov.02, page 79) asserts that my clients will like me more and that I will be in a more competitive position if I’m compelled to pass through to them (in the form of higher fees) additional software costs, additional costs related to electronic filing program compliance and additional costs stemming from my diminished productivity—the natural result of adding steps to both the tax-preparation and recordkeeping processes.

That, in my opinion, is offensive not only because it defies common sense, but because its weaknesses make this work of presumably independent authorship appear indistinguishable from the most self-serving work of the Internal Revenue Service’s own staff writers.

The IRS can set e-filing goals until it’s blue in the face, but until it is equipped by Congress with the ability to modify behavior with incentives or with compulsion, its goals never will be achieved.

Until the time arrives that I can look my clients in the eye and tell them e-filing is simpler and cheaper than paper filing, I will continue to advise them to save their money by filing the low-tech way.

James G. Fawls, CPA
New Hyde Park, New York

SPONSORED REPORT

Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS warning on cyberattacks and a change in pension rules

Once again, the IRS sounds the alarm about a threat from cyberthieves. See how much you know about this and other recent news with this short quiz.

CHECKLIST

Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.