The Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC) has released its annual report to Congress, featuring recommendations that focus on the prevention of identity theft and refund fraud.
The ETAAC is a public forum whose members work closely with the Security Summit, a joint effort of the IRS, state tax administrators and the nation’s tax industry that was established in 2015 to fight identity theft-reflated refund fraud and cybercrime.
The 2020 report includes a total of 16 recommendations grouped into four sections: Fund, Modernize and Enable the IRS; Defend and Protect our Tax System; Improve the Taxpayer Experience; and Strengthen the Security Summit and the ISAC.
ETAAC members represent various segments of the tax community, including individual and business taxpayers, tax professionals and preparers, state and local governments, consumer advocates, tax software developers, payroll service providers and the financial industry.
The full report for 2020 is available on IRS.gov.
At today’s annual meeting, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig and IRS leaders thanked eight members of the committee whose terms are ending:
- Phil Poirier – Poirier served on the ETAAC Outreach Subgroup and for the past year served as Committee Chair. He is a volunteer tax preparer in the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and is active in the Taxpayer Opportunity Network, which is managed by Prosperity Now and supports VITA programs at the national level. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis.
- Michael Jackman – Jackman served on the ETAAC Outreach Subgroup. He is a Senior Cybersecurity Analyst for Maximus Federal, and has extensive experience in taxation, tax administration and related information systems. He currently operates a small tax practice and serves as the coordinator for two Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. Over a 22-year tenure as an IRS employee he held several compliance and information technology positions, culminating in serving in the IRS National Office as the Chief of Systems Development for the original Electronic Filing System.
- Suzanne Kruger – Kruger served on the ETAAC Filing Subgroup. She currently serves as the Security Specialist for the Montana Department of Revenue and on several committees for the Montana Information Security Advisory Council (MT-ISAC). She has more than 26 years of experience working with state government, businesses, non-profits and individuals in the accounting, tax preparation and banking fields.
- Ada Navarro – Navarro served on the ETAAC Information Sharing Subgroup. Until recently she was Lead Examiner for the Fraud Unit of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, handling both civil and criminal tax fraud cases. Navarro has also been co-project manager for Connecticut’s paid preparer legislation committee.
- Kathy Pickering – Pickering served on the ETAAC Information Sharing Subgroup. She is the Chief Tax Officer at H&R Block. With over 20 years of experience in tax administration, Kathy is responsible for the strategic direction and management of a team of the nation’s top tax experts. As head of The Tax Institute, Pickering oversees a group of 23 credentialed tax experts, with deep knowledge of the industry and regular, direct interaction with tax professionals and taxpayers.
- John Sapp – Sapp served on the ETAAC Filing Subgroup. He has served a key role at Drake Software for over 20 years, with roles ranging from Chief Financial Officer to Vice President of Drake’s Sales and Marketing divisions. Today he serves as the Vice President of Strategic Development, where his role is to help shape the future and growth of one of the largest professional tax software companies in the nation.
- Joseph Sica – Sica served on the ETAAC Filing Subgroup. He is Chief Public Policy Officer for Green Dot/Tax Products Group and has been affiliated with tax time financial products and combating fraud in the tax system for the last 28 years. In the earliest days of e-filing, Sica worked with the IRS to develop and pilot refund loans as an incentive for people to file electronically. Prior to IRS having increased fraud detection capabilities, he started the Fraud Service Bureau in 1994 in which banks in the tax loan industry electronically exchanged data to identify fraud and shared results with the IRS.
- Mark Steber – Steber served on the ETAAC Filing Subgroup. He is Chief Tax Officer with Jackson Hewitt Tax Service and is responsible for several key initiatives to support overall tax service delivery and quality assurance. Steber serves as a Jackson Hewitt liaison with the Internal Revenue Service, States, other government authorities, Walmart, other retail entities, and banking partners. With more than 30 years of tax experience, Steber is widely referenced as an expert on consumer income tax issues and especially electronic tax and data protection issues.