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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) development of an electronic filing system, intended to streamline the tax processing system by using computers instead of the traditional paper forms for filing individual tax returns.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Internal Revenue Service 1. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should validate the design approach for the nationwide electronic filing system before selecting and funding a system. At a minimum, IRS should: (1) clearly define system requirements for nationwide implementation, including determining how it will minimize the burgeoning, paper-intensive nature of the current system and accommodate the processing of tax-due returns; and (2) identify and analyze the costs and benefits of various alternatives for meeting the requirements for a nationwide system.
Closed - Implemented
Electronic filing will be operational nationwide by the 1990 filing season, and system requirements have been defined in a requisite analysis submitted to Treasury in January 1990.
Internal Revenue Service 2. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should ensure better management in contracting for ADP support services by: (1) revising IRS procedures to require project offices to get technical assistance in writing and negotiating contracts for major ADP systems; and (2) allowing enough time to thoroughly test deliverables, thereby ensuring product quality.
Closed - Implemented
A new project planning process is being used for ADP modernization projects. The new ADP support services contract calls for the acceptance period to be negotiated on a project-by-project basis.

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