IRS to Spend Over $2B Modernizing IT Systems

Published: April 25, 2019

Information TechnologyIRSIT Reform

Last week the IRS released a six-year Integrated Modernization Business Plan to modernize the agency’s aging IT systems and improve customer services.

The plan is expected to cost the agency between $2.3B and $2.7B over the six years. IRS’ FY 2020 budget requests $290M for the effort.

According to the modernization plan, its implementation will enable the IRS to

  • Significantly improve the taxpayer experience by standardizing customer workflows and by expanding access to information.
  • Reduce call wait and case resolution times with customer callback technology, online notices, and live online customer support.
  • Expedite return and refund processing with real-time return processing and taxpayer error correction.
  • Simplify identity verification to expand access to online services while protecting data.
  • Increase systems availability for taxpayers and practitioners.
  • Facilitate implementation of new tax provisions including common extenders enacted by Congress by eliminating millions of lines of legacy code.

Fulfillment of the plan will also reduce costs associated with maintaining legacy systems and will allow the IRS to reinvest the savings to keep technology current and expand digital services.  

IRS developed the plan in conjunction with IRS employees, Treasury leadership, and government partners, including MITRE and McKinsey. Phased implementation, including specific projects and initiatives, are detailed in the Companion Document, which has not been released to the public. 

The modernization plan consists of two phases, FY 2019 – FY 2021 and FY 2022 – FY 2024, and is based on four modernization pillars:   Taxpayer Experience, Core Taxpayer Services & Enforcement, Modernized IRS Operations, and Cybersecurity & Data Protection. Each modernization pillar maps to key objectives, and key programs and initiatives.

The IRS plans to deliver the major technology investments by aligning them to major business units and its six primary business processes:

  • Case Management
  • Internal Operations
  • Account Management
  • Intake
  • Customer Service
  • Compliance

Opportunities for contractors to assist IRS in its modernization efforts are likely, especially in the areas of web applications, case management, API management, cloud computing, digitization, RPA, VDI, IAM, and vulnerability and threat management. Contract vehicles that may be used to procure these products and services include TIPSS4, Schedule 70 and SEWP V.