Are your Tax Audits going Virtual?

June 2nd, 2017 by ali Leave a reply »

Video conferencing solutions like R-HUB`s TurboMeeting have made virtual tax auditing possible, as they assure customers and taxmen all the necessary privacy and data protection they need.

Tax audits are undoubtedly dreary for almost all tax payers in the world. Luckily, video conferencing can alleviate the process of getting a tax audit by giving you the possibility of having it to take place in the comfort of your living room. This would save at least time and the annoyance to drive though the traffic to one of those gray and squared building where taxmen exert their powers.

This is the reason why in 2011 I.R.S. (Internal Revenue Service, an US authority) launched a pilot program to allow tax payers to use video conferences to get assistance for their tax problems in 12 diffferent locations.The new virtual procedure started with sending a sign-in code to the taxpayers concerned through which they logged in to the virtual conference from their home or office computers. If it was necessary to show documents, they could be scanned by the computer built-in cam. Virtual audits were introduced with the purpose to replace the traditional correspondence audits, which are deemed as confusing and puzzling by most tax players.

I.R.S. program had been strongly backed up by the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent I.R.S. watchdog arm. In the meantime, some accountants had launched the first virtual auditing services, which confirm the trend towards the adoption of virtual conferences as a new way to sort things out with the taxman for taxpayers.

The technology to support virtual auditing is already fully available. Today’s web conferencing solutions offer a huge set of functionalities that range from document sharing to virtual conferences with multiple participants, and on-premise server based solutions like R-HUB`s TurboMeeting (http://www.rhubcom.com) assure public officers and taxpayers the necessary level of privacy, security and data protection.

In facts, an issue involved in virtual meetings is data security. This problem can be tackled in two ways. The first is to strengthen encryption techniques; the second is working on the proxies and firewalls of the computers hosting web conferences. The first approach is the most used today, as most virtual conferencing services have moved to clouds. The second one has been adopted by the producers of on-premise server based video conferencing solutions, and it is more tested. In both cases, the result for producers is being able to provide users with reliable and fast services for virtual conferences.

Is thus virtual auditing the future for the US taxpayers? The problem is not technology, but politics. To my knowledge, the above-mentioned pilot program has not been continued by I.R.S..So, despite a promising debut, it seems that taxpayers cannot take this new service for granted. While virtual conferencing has been booming in other areas connected with public services like healthcare, tax auditing is still a difficult ground for innovators.  However, let’s give hope. I.R.S. attempt to introduce virtual tax audits is a signal that the wind of change has started blowing even through the gloomy taxman’s offices.

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