|IRS Technology Updates|
The Internal Revenue Service updated its electronic information services for the 1998 tax filing season. Here is a list of some of the improvements:
Charles O. Rossotti, who was overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate as Internal Revenue Service commissioner, plans to engineer a major shift in focus to a more customer-oriented culture and pledged his support for the comprehensive IRS restructuring legislation in the House and the Senate.
Rossotti, 56 years old, was the chairman of an international information technology consulting company based in Fairfax, Virginia. He is the first IRS commissioner without a formal background in tax law or administration. Before his selection, Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin and many members of Congress, including Robert Portman (R-Ohio), the cochairman of the National Commission on Restructuring the IRS, had recommended that the new commissioner be chosen from the private sector. At the Senate confirmation, Senator John Breaux (D-La.) called Rossotti's lack of experience with tax law "a positive qualification for the current time."
Rossotti told members of the Senate Finance Committee that the IRS's long-term goal should be to provide service to taxpayers that is as good as they receive from leading companies in the private sector. This means "moving from the way things were typically done in large private-sector companies 15 to 20 years ago to the way the best companies do them today," said Rossotti.
To accomplish this, Rossotti said there would be a comprehensive modernization of both the organization and technology at the IRS. He said he would not hesitate to bring in new people when necessary and he emphasized the need for open communications in building successful organizations. "I will do everything in my power to adopt a policy of open, honest communication—within the IRS, with the Congress and with the public—because it is the only way I know how to manage."