Legislative Recommendation: IT Modernization

The IRS's core information technology (IT) systems are among the oldest in the federal government, limiting the agency's capabilities in significant ways. Partly due to historic poor planning and execution and partly due to lack of funding, the IRS has been unable to replace these antiquated systems. Every year, instead, the agency layers more and more applications and smaller systems onto its core systems. On April 17, 2018, the filing deadline for filing 2017 federal income tax returns, an IRS systems crash prevented taxpayers from electronically submitting their tax returns and payments. The damage from the crash was limited because the IRS gave taxpayers an extra day to file and pay. However, the crash had the effect of creating significant confusion and anxiety among taxpayers and their preparers, and it served as an important wake-up call and a warning of future problems if the IRS is unable to replace its legacy systems soon.

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