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Monday, January 28, 2008

The Role of Tax Blogs in Tax Administration

Interesting article in this week's Tax Notes, Tax Press Plays Crucial Role in IRS Communications Strategy, Korb Says, by Kristen A. Parillo, 118 Tax Notes 478 (1/28/08):

The tax press has played an increasingly important role in the IRS's communications strategy as the number and form of media outlets have proliferated over the last 25 to 35 years, IRS Chief Counsel Donald Korb said at a January 18 session of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation midyear meeting in Lake Las Vegas, Nev. Korb spoke at a panel on the role of blogging in the tax world [blogged here].

He asked the audience to think back to what it was like 35 years ago, when there was no Tax Notes and the Daily Tax Report was a different type of publication than it is today. "The tax press is really an important part of our business in a way that it wasn't, and what I've tried to do is take advantage of that in terms of tax administration," Korb said. "It's a very effective way for us to get our message out and get our spin on things." ...

Tax bloggers have gone a step beyond what traditional media can do and have "democratized" the way tax news and other information reach people who may not have had access to such information before the Internet age, Korb said. People no longer have to have subscriptions to tax law publications or be in Washington to get that information, he said. Tax blogs such as TaxProf Blog, which is run by Paul Caron, a University of Cincinnati College of Law professor, "are a great tool to get information out to a particular group," he said.

Korb wondered whether difficult tax policy problems that were being debated 25 to 35 years ago could have been resolved faster if tax blogs and other such forums had been around. Only certain people were aware of the issues at that time, Korb said, so there wasn't a broad public discussion as there is now. Korb also wondered to what extent judges read tax blogs and whether that affects their thinking.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/01/the-role-of-tax.html

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Comments

"...there wasn't a broad public discussion as there is now..."

Discussion? What discussion. Look down the list of posts on this blog and count how many worthy discussions have taken place on this blog.

Don't get me wrong--this blog has a vital role to play. It's the poor man's Tax Notes Today.

But where is the "broad public discussion" on "difficult tax policy problems?" It's not on this blog or any other tax blog that I am aware of.

Posted by: TaxPro | Jan 28, 2008 5:18:38 AM

Take a look at MauledAgain, where I publish comments and responses that readers provide to issues I've analyzed.

Posted by: Jim Maule | Jan 28, 2008 6:30:16 AM

You can find it on Linda Beale's blog to a limited extent. It is far more common on the listservs and message boards.

Posted by: Apep | Jan 28, 2008 6:31:20 AM