IRS News Release  
September 20, 1994

New Electronic Filing Program Procedures

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service stepped up its campaign to combat filing fraud with the announcement today of new Electronic Filing Program procedures. These procedures will reduce filing fraud by insuring that only appropriate applicants can participate in IRS' Electronic Filing Program.

"The program changes we are making will reduce our exposure to fraud and stop those trying to circumvent the high standards we have always had for participating in the Electronic Filing Program, " said IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson.

Among the requirements for new program applicants are:

  • submission of fingerprints, enabling IRS to check criminal records;
  • authorization of a credit check;
  • a minimum age of 21;
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident alien status.

The IRS has always checked applicants' tax records to identify any tax compliance problems that would bar a person from the Electronic Filing Program. The additional criminal and credit checks will help verify applicants' identities and insure that those with criminal histories problems do not gain entrance into the program.

Other changes include:

  • requiring a company's branch offices to separately apply for acceptance into the program;
  • not allowing the address of the Electronic Return Originator (ERO) on either the client's signature document (Form 8453) or the electronic tax return; and
  • not allowing returns with substitute W-2 forms to be filed electronically before February 15.

"We will be implementing many other fraud-prevention changes before next year's tax filing season," Commissioner Richardson said. "For example, our computer technology has enabled us to more thoroughly verify the accuracy of Social Security numbers for taxpayers and their dependents. Incorrect numbers will delay the processing of returns and expected refunds. We will continue our efforts until we have eliminated refund filing fraud from our tax system."

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