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IRS Announces New Director of Electronic Tax Administration

Terry Lutes is the new Director of Electronic Tax Administration. He had been the acting director of ETA since October 2000, when Robert E. Barr had vacated the position. Mr. Lutes has been with the agency for the last 24 years. John M. Darlrymple, commissioner of wage and investment division, regards Mr. Lutes very highly and considers him the right man for the job. The show of support is not surprising since Mr. Lutes will be reporting to Mr. Darlrymple.

The job of the Electronic Tax Administration is to help and support the business divisions of the IRS integrate electronic services into their systems. ETA will help these divisions minimize the daily workload by planning new schemes that incorporate "electronic interaction" into every facet of the agency. This is one of the aims of modernization started by the IRS in 1998.

Right now, ETA is at a very crucial stage of the modernization. ETA is planning and developing programs to expand electronic services so in the future paperwork will be eliminated. Already starting this year taxpayers filing certain forms can electronically sign their tax returns, instead of sending in paper returns. These taxpayers are filing their tax returns without using a single piece of paper, which was impossible until this year.

Terry Lutes is also going to be in position to advice IRS on all matters pertaining to electronic services. In recent years electronic filing has become bigger than anyone expected and has developed very quickly. The agency’s resources are being stretched. New programs need to be implemented as soon as possible. That’s where ETA and Mr. Lutes come in. He is seen as a person with knowledge and experience within the agency. IRS commissioner Charles O. Rossotti applauds Mr. Lutes’ leadership abilities and believes that he will greatly accelerate the positive growth of the agency towards a paperless future.