IRS Releases Six Year Roadmap for IT Modernization Efforts

The IRS released its Integrated Business Modernization Plan on April 18, offering a six-year road map for the $2.7 billion modernization effort at the agency.

The strategy establishes four modernization pillars at the agency:

  • Taxpayer Experience
  • Core Taxpayer Services and Enforcement
  • Modernized IRS Operations, and
  • Cybersecurity and Data Protection

On taxpayer experience, the strategy emphasizes efforts in allowing third parties to offer assistance through web applications, live assistance, and online notifications to replace mail and provide important information to taxpayers.

“We need to transform the taxpayer experience to deliver taxpayer services with speed and quality. We can do so by modernizing our processes and systems and aligning the IRS with industry standards for digital innovation,” the strategy states.

On services and enforcement, the IRS sets the priorities of integrating tax processing systems to increase cost-effectiveness, enable real-time processing and transparency, and increase use of data to combat fraud.

To accomplish those goals, the IRS highlights its efforts on its modernization of the Customer Account Data Engine program, efforts to acquire an enterprise case management system to digitize information and improve resource alignment, and the Real-Time Tax Processing program that will replace the current batch processing system.

On IRS operations, the agency turns inwards, looking at the complexity of its technical environment, how to leverage data to deliver agile and secure applications and services, and strengthen agility through automation and streamlined processes.

In response, the IRS is focused on its implementation of APIs both inside and outside the agency, the use of cloud for agility, and digitization of data. The strategy also notes the Next Generation Infrastructure initiative to support a more flexible architecture, the use of robotics process automation, and the creation of a universal data hub with tools and analytics capabilities.

“A leaner, nimbler capability portfolio will power the IRS while keeping operational costs controlled,” the strategy states.

On cybersecurity, the IRS strategy focuses on identity and access management, real-time threat intelligence and analytics, and the use of common platforms to secure the entire IRS environment.

Modernization initiatives include use of a common platform for identity management, encrypting data at rest, establishing full visibility throughout the IRS network, and enabling cybersecurity professionals to protect data and systems.

“We have confidence that with this approach we will know where to focus our transformation efforts and where we are going on our modernization journey,” said IRS CIO Gina Garza and Deputy CIO Maria Somerville in a letter preceding the strategy.

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