Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced Thursday that they are calling for improved E-filing oversight at the IRS.

A Government Accountability Office report released Thursday calls on the IRS to improve its oversight of tax software used by individuals to prepare their tax returns.

The report recommends that the IRS survey taxpayers to determine how tax software pricing affects taxpayer participation in electronic filing, monitor whether tax software companies are complying with security and privacy standards, and measure whether tax software results in accurate tax returns.

Baucus supports the use of electronic filing to speed up tax refunds, improve the accuracy of tax returns and reduce IRS administrative costs.

The IRS has agreed to the GAO's recommendations.

I'm encouraged to see the IRS taking tax return privacy and accuracy seriously, Baucus said.

In 2007, over 117 million individual tax returns were prepared using tax software. The importance of these returns being safe and accurate cannot be overstated.

Baucus added, E-filing not only reduces paperwork and streamlines the process, but taxpayers get their much-needed refund faster.

I intend to monitor progress at the IRS on this issue to make certain that the available software is something American taxpayers can continue to rely on to process their tax returns with accuracy and security.

A little IRS oversight of tax preparation software could bring big results in tax accuracy and compliance, added Grassley.

The IRS should work with software providers to improve guidance and settings for taxpayers.

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