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The Project

Other oversight mechanisms
As part of the governance structure overseeing the results of the e-file, the RRA created an oversight board to monitor the program and make sure it is organized and operates in a manner that facilitates meeting the mission of the IRS and the ETA. An additional governance layer for e-file is the Congress. The RRA requires the IRS to report annually to Congress on their progress toward developing a return-free tax system for appropriate taxpayers.

The Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC) is a private sector advisory body established by Congress to assist the IRS in meeting its primary goal of 80% of all tax returns filed electronically by the year 2007. ETAAC was established in 1998 and submits annual reports to Congress as mandated under the RRA. In its advisory capacity, ETAAC also provides programmatic advice to the IRS, makes recommendations to Congress that it believes the IRS should follow, and identifies to Congress the main risks, opportunities, and challenges the IRS in a given tax year.

The Council for Electronic Revenue Communication Advancement (CERCA) is another oversight group created in 1994 as a non-profit organization. Its membership includes a broad array of private and public sector organizations that are committed to advancing the use and practice of electronic filing. CERCA provides advice and information to the ETA, giving them up-to-date stakeholder feedback on key electronic revenue issues. Its board members and officers come from a range of organizations including Intuit, H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, CSC, TRW, Household Finance, Bank of America, and the South Carolina Department of Revenue.

Some of the public sector members of CERCA include the South Carolina Department of Revenue, New York Department of Tax and Finance, and the Social Security Administration. Private sector members range from banks and financial institutions (Bank of America, Bank One, Mellon Bank, American Express), computer technology and service companies (ADP, CSC, EDS, IBM, Microsoft, UNISYS), to tax return providers ( Peoples IncomeTax, Refunds Now, Official Payments Now), to the tax return industry (Jackson Hewitt, Intuit, H&R Block)6. There are five standing committees for CERCA:

  • Electronic Filing
  • Electronic Commerce
  • Business E-Filing
  • Electronic Government
  • Systems Modernization

6This list of members is not exhaustive. For a complete list see www.cerca.org/members