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Accounting & Audit

Thousands of tax professionals petition IRS on end of e-Services tools

Petition started by Beyond415 urges the IRS to reconsider its decision to retire two e-Services tools.

Beyond415 has submitted a petition with almost 4,000 practitioner signatures to the IRS, in an effort to urge the agency to reverse its decision to retire two major e-Services products used by CPAs, enrolled agents and attorneys to file disclosure authorizations and resolve IRS account problems.

In June, the IRS announced that it plans to retire the Disclosure Authorization (DA) and Electronic Account Resolution (EAR) e-Services products August 11, “due largely to low usage.”

After learning of the IRS announcement to retire the two e-Services products, an overwhelming number of practitioners were upset and disappointed to learn that they would lose the convenience of interacting with the IRS electronically. Some practitioners pointed to a lack of IRS outreach when it comes to educating practitioners and publicizing the various uses of e-Services incentive products.

“The IRS should add functionality and focus on educating practitioners about the time-saving uses of e-Services,” said Jim Buttonow, vice president of product development for Beyond415. “This would increase utilization and decrease the IRS’ reliance on manual, human interactions.”

DA, in particular, is popular among practitioners because it offers an efficient alternative to filing authorizations with the IRS Centralized Authorization File unit, which experiences long average processing times.

Overwhelming practitioner response to this issue spurred a grassroots movement to petition the IRS to abandon its plans to retire the e-Services products or replace the products with other electronic solutions.  Various tax professional associations arealso pushing the IRS to reconsider its decision.

“We are committed to this issue,” Buttonow said. “Many tax practices will be affected by this change. It’s a counterintuitive move by the IRS to get rid of an automated tool when tax professionals are increasingly moving in that direction.”

Practitioners can find out more about the IRS decision to retire two e-Services products in the Beyond415 Knowledge Center. Practitioners can also personally contactstakeholder organizations and representatives to urge IRS action and open communication on this issue, using a sample letter and list of contact information.