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Dire predictions for current and forthcoming tax seasons as IRS IT systems decline

NextGov – The IRS System Processing Your Taxes is Almost 60 Years Old: “One of the IRS’ most important tax-processing applications is old enough to be a grandparent, and officials warn a failure during tax season could have dire economic ramifications or delay tax refunds for 100 million Americans. The Individual Master File, a massive application written in the antiquated and low-level Assembly programming language, is comprised of data from 1 billion taxpayer accounts going back decades, and chiefly responsible for receiving individual taxpayer data and dispensing refunds. Despite hundreds of millions in spending, plans to fully modernize the application are more than six years behind schedule, and in a statement to Nextgov, IRS revised its new timeline for a modernized IMF to 2022.“To address the risk of a system failure, the IRS has a plan to modernize two core components of the IMF by 2021, followed by a year of parallel validation before retiring those components in 2022,” the IRS said. The timeline could slip further, however, because IRS will need the authority to hire at least 50 additional employees—and backfill any losses—and receive an additional $85 million in annual non-labor funding for the next five years. The president’s fiscal 2018 budget request would cut IRS funding by $239 million…”

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