From Kim:

I came across this article and thought it was very interesting. Basically, the GAO is proposing to the IRS that they should impose a penalty for taxpayers that do not comply with the e-filing mandate. Should the IRS have the authority to impose penalties under the code in this particular circumstance? The IRS already enforces similar penalties such as a $50 penalty if a preparer fails to sign a tax return. Furthermore, is it really too much to ask for preparers to e-file in the first place? What are your thoughts?


About Mark P. Holtzman

Chair of Accounting Department at Seton Hall University. PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. Worked at Deloitte's New York Office. BSBA from Hofstra University.


  1. It is entirely too much to ask that everyone e-files in the first place. Only people who are comfortable with technology usually e-file unless you go to a tax return filer (i.e.H&R Block)so that they may e-file for the taxpayer. While I think that e-filing makes life easier for many parties and is more efficient, it should not be forced on people, at least for another couple of decades when we know for sure that people are exposed to technology. My parents are just one example of people who wouldn't know where to begin because they never used technology growing up like I did and no matter how much I teach them, they have a difficult time grasping what I am telling them. If the IRS were to even accept this proposal, then I would think they need to offer a place where older generations can get help e-filing free of charge.

  2. I agree with Yvonne, the IRS should assist people, initiate programs or classes, or make instructions very accessible for people who are not comfortable with the technology before imposing this type of penalty. I do agree though that they should start a required e-filing process, it will make the system much more efficient, and would make the whole tax file process at least a little more environmentally friendly and sustainable. I know from my experience in the corporate tax world, that thousands of pages of paper are shipped in boxes to clients and the IRS during tax time every year. Initiating that type of penalty might be the push everyone needs to get out of an old unsustainable habit.

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