CCIA Hails IRS-Industry Agreement

July 31, 2002

Washington, DC – The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) today praised the announcement by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that an agreement had been reached with private-sector tax preparation service providers to create an open industry consortium to provide free online tax preparation services to most taxpayers.

“The Public-Private Partnership announced today represents the best in what government and the private sector can achieve when working in concert,” said Ed Black, President and CEO of CCIA. “Today’s agreement is a huge victory for government, for industry, but, most importantly, for the American taxpayer.”

The agreement between the IRS and industry calls for the formation of a consortium of tax preparation service providers, each of which must provide an offer of free services to at least 10% of all taxpayers. The total of all free offers is expected to exceed more than half of all taxpayers. The IRS will help to promote the consortium and the availability of free services, and will ensure that the members of the consortium meet standards of service, security, and privacy protection.

“We believe that Public-Private Partnerships like this leverage the government’s ability to provide information and promote best practices with industry’s expertise in technology and innovation,” said Black. “Such partnerships are undoubtedly the most effective means to promote services like electronic filing of tax returns, which will greatly benefit the IRS and State revenue agencies, as well as taxpayers themselves. We hope that this model is adopted by other government agencies and in other industries to ensure cooperation between the public and private sector, optimal use of government resources, and effective delivery of services to taxpayers.”

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