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Last modified: April 04, 2002
Tax Information Group for ECommerce Requirements Standardization (TIGERS)

[November 15, 2001] TIGERS "is a Work Group of Task Group 2, the Government Subcommittee sub-group that works on tax standards [Tax Information Interchange (TG2)]. TIGERS has been chartered to discuss matters relating to business standards and practices surrounding national tax data formatting and transfer; it develops and maintains tax electronic technical format standards for a variety of tax filing and other related government electronic reporting or data exchange applications. Its members are exploring the use of XML in tax filing processes. Its goal is to develop XML resources relating to an XML-based tax data submission process for use by all state and federal tax authorities, based on the commitment and contributions of a variety of federal and state government personnel and the participation of a broad group of interested industry partners. The TIGERS group is a part of the American National Standards Institute's ASC (Accredited Standards Committee) X12-Government Subcommittee. The Government Subcommittee is a standing committee of ASC X12."

[April 04, 2002]   TIGERS Workgroup Reviews Draft XML Schemas for Form 1120 Corporation Income Tax Returns.    Xan Ostro of the US Internal Revenue Service Electronic Tax Administration (ETA) has posted a collection of eighteen (18) draft XML schemas relating to forms and schedules for IRS 1120. Preliminary docmentation is provided by sample XML instances and a companion document 'Introduction to IRS e-file XML Schemas', representing the most recent thinking of the development team on IRS XML 1120 schemas. This document discusses the schema design, "including treatment of namespaces, naming conventions, element and type reuse, etc., as well as transmission and acknowledgment files and envelopes, and overall e-file schema structures." U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return Form 1120 is used to report income, gains, losses, deductions, credits, and to calculate the income tax liability of a corporation. The draft materials were prepared to facilitate education and preparation for an upcoming TIGERS meetings addressing Tax XML Development. The principal Schema is for IRS Form 1120, excluding embedded schedules and supporting information. These XML schemas have been created by the Tax Information Group for EC Requirements Standardization (TIGERS), part of the National Standards Institute's ASC X12-Government Subcommittee. This WG "has been chartered to discuss matters relating to business standards and practices surrounding national tax data formatting and transfer, and develops and maintains tax electronic technical format standards for a variety of tax filing and other related government electronic reporting or data exchange applications. The recent focus of the group has addressed the use of XML as a data transformation tool, and efforts to develop a standard taxonomy and schema as guidance for tax agencies. The aim is to create guidance useful to state and federal (IRS) tax authorities to assist them in XML application development." [Full context]

"A current [2001-11] TIGERS effort is to examine the possible use of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) in tax administration and its standardization. One of the emphases of TIGERS is to review opportunities for consistency in state and federal filing processes. Individual tax authorities should use available guidelines, formats, and codes for each tax application they are putting in place, and seek TIGERS guidance in implementation, strictly limiting 'customization'. This will benefit all trading partners and reduce their cost."

A report of 2001-11-07 by Dr. Glenda Hayes (MITRE) summarizes XML Schema Activities at IRS. The main example outlines the current approach taken in the creation of an IRS 1120 XML schema, where "one of the main objectives is to validate numeric values, as appropriate." Using XML schemas and XSL should reduce data errors, reduce costs in tbe validating of returns, and support easier transitions for changes in tax forms/schedules. The benefits of using XML for IRS 1120 [US Corporate Income Tax Return] are that "1120 represents approximately 85% of the data elements for IRS; it has significant overlap with Individual Tax (1040); the design effort will reconcile duplicate data elements (e.g., string length for address); it meets external stakeholder request; represents an IS/ETA joint effort; is a scoped pilot; exploits a large base of developers; involves coordination with external groups." Three experimental approaches to tax XML Schema development were identified: (1) using XBRL [loose control]; (2) a derived EDI based/TIGERS approach, with schema patterned after EDI transaction; (3) a 'direct' approach with tight control, patterned after the Microsoft 1040 strawman and the TIGERS Sales Tax Group. Draft schemas have been posted for public review. Next steps for IRS development are (1) community review of the 1120, 1120S, 941 schemas; the IRS has now set up a listserv for this purpose; (2) development of IRS Form 1041, 1065, and 990 XML schemas; (2) refinement of IRS XML schema, both types and general elements. [adapted from the report and TIGERS October minutes]

IRS 1120/941 eFile Transport and Packaging Proposal. By Tom Guinan (IBM Global Services). October 2001. Presented at the October 2001 TIGERS meeting. "Outlines a method for enveloping XML data designed to provide utility in securing, receiving, routing, and processing files. The intent of the exercise is to determine how best to package for transmission and subsequent processing XML-format 941s, 1120s, and other transactions -- all together, if desired. The eFile Transport and Packaging Objectives are to define standard wire format and protocol for business return submission and acknowledgements: (1) Support any return type (e.g., 1120, 941) (2) Rely on standards whenever possible [lower risk/development costs; leverage existing tools; reduce training costs]; (3) Support XML and binary data; (4) Be usable over multiple communication channels, e.g., dial-up, Internet, FTP, HTTP. The eFile Return Packaging Objectives are to specify standard mechanism for structuring return components which: (1) supports any return type; (2) is consistent with eFile Transport and Packaging; (3) simplifies XML schema definition and instance creation; (4) facilitates development of standard return processing applications; (5) provides flexibility to return storage and access..." The October 2, 2001 meeting minutes supply details. See the XML example document for this Draft XML Transmission Packaging proposal. [Cache: PDF and XML example]


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