Tax System Modernization:

Issues Facing IRS

T-IMTEC-91-18: Published: Jul 9, 1991. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 1991.

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GAO discussed the prerequisites for the successful implementation of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Tax System Modernization (TMS) program. GAO noted that, to implement TMS, IRS must: (1) present a clear vision of how it plans to conduct business in the future and how it will use technology to achieve its goals; (2) finalize its Design Master Plan and review it periodically; and (3) develop a system to track the corresponding program benefits. GAO also noted that the Design Master Plan needs to: (1) articulate a clear vision for the modernization; (2) address more completely such key planning components as transition planning; (3) establish measurable goals for assessing progress; (4) account for all major modernization activities; (5) address the issues of taxpayer privacy and technology risks; and (6) include a strategy to recruit, train, and retain staff with highly technical skills. GAO also believes that IRS needs to: (1) strengthen both its procurement and its systems development policies and practices; and (2) ensure that it has personnel with necessary technical expertise to carry out the modernization program.

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