Modernization of IRS tax system still behind schedule – GCN


Modernization of IRS tax system still behind schedule

The modernization of the IRS’s 60-year-old Master Personal File System (IMF), the primary source of individual tax data, has been in development since 2009, but even the replacement of basic functions may not be possible. completed before 2030, according to the government. Accountability office.

A modernized system would provide the necessary infrastructure for real-time digital interactions with taxpayers, rapid access to data and an agile response to legislative changes, according to the GAO report.

In its review of five IRS IT investments, GAO found that they met most of the performance targets for fiscal 2019 and 2020.

However, the program to modernize the IMF, called Customer Account Data Engine 2, has seen many delays and cost changes since the IRS began developing it in 2009, GAO said. A key milestone for the replacement of certain functions, for example, has been postponed for nine years, from 2014 to 2023. The fully modernized system is not expected to be completed before 2030.

Delays have pushed development costs roughly four times higher than originally anticipated, and the specialist workers needed to support existing IRS systems are expensive and increasingly difficult to find, GAO said.

One factor affecting IRS modernization efforts: the pandemic response.

The IRS had to deploy IT equipment and upgrade IT infrastructure bandwidth to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and maximize telecommuting capabilities. Among the issues that delayed the infrastructure refresh were orders for out-of-stock equipment, delays in procurement activities, and reassignment of staff to support the COVID-19 response.

In comments included in the report, Jeffrey Tribiano, IRS Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support, stressed the importance of the IMF in providing data “to support IRS customer service, compliance, custody accounting and fraud detection “.

“Despite its limitations, the system continues to function and allow the IRS to implement legislative mandates,” he said. “The IMF’s modernization plan, which has been independently evaluated, allows the IRS to deliver benefits gradually each year over the next 10 years. With the US bailout providing modernization funding, we are accelerating these efforts, but further progress will depend on the funds available. . “

This article first appeared on FCW.

About the Author

Natalie Alms is a writer at FCW and covers the Federal Workforce. She recently graduated from Wake Forest University and wrote for the Salisbury (NC) Post. Connect with Natalie on Twitter at @AlmsNatalie.

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