America Desperately Needs to Rebuild the IRS
It’s no secret that the IRS has a modernization problem. For decades the agency’s outdated tech – with some critical systems dating back to the Eisenhower administration – has been a target for lawmakers, government watchdogs and technology advocates.
A new audit from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) suggests the legacy tech problem for the agency could be even worse than advertised.
Despite a number of different strategy documents – including a six-year, $2.7 billion business systems modernization plan – auditors say the IRS lacks specific plans to identify, retire and replace legacy systems. The documents provided to TIGTA outline a few dozen specific systems, but “for the majority of legacy systems, no efforts have been made to identify time frames, activities to be performed, and functions to be replaced or enhanced.” Previous investigations from TIGTA and the Government Accountability Office have found that having specific plans and time frames in place for these activities can be crucial in pushing an organization to following through with them.