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Agents Of Change

Is the IRS shedding its image as the agency entrepreneurs love to hate?

Almost two years have passed since the IRS promised to provide kinder, gentler service. Now, with several changes in place, entrepreneurs can expect to deal with a friendlier tax agency this filing season. But a good deal of restructuring still needs to be done before the IRS is transformed into a taxpayer service agency, say experts who closely follow the agency's daily operations.

The IRS is still busy reorganizing and nursing its wounds, says Don Alexander, an attorney with Washington, DC, law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP and IRS commissioner during the Ford, Nixon and Carter administrations. The agency took a beating during Senate Finance Committee hearings in 1997, when various taxpayer abuses were uncovered. Since then, the IRS has committed itself to a major self-improvement program.

Joan Szabo is a writer in Great Falls, Virginia, who has reported on tax issues for more than 13 years.

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This article was originally published in the April 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Agents Of Change.

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