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The IRS Gets a Tech Upgrade

October 16, 2014  |   Tax News   |   Tags: , ,  

Anyone who’s been stuck listening to IRS hold music can verify that the agency does not always keep up with the times. In fact, much of how the IRS processes returns, interacts with taxpayers, and scans for fraud has not changed in many years. A large part of what the IRS does relies on manpower. With a significantly reduced staff due to budget cuts over the last few years, elbow grease may not be enough. It seems that the IRS has begun to understand that, and they are looking toward the Cloud to get ahead.

Currently, the IRS functions as many different parts that may or may not be communicating effectively with each other. This is especially true regarding the technology the IRS uses; its electronic processing system is divided up into separate applications. In one department, they may be using Application A and the other uses Application X, and information is simply not shared between the two. The end result is that everything has to be input all over again.

iepIt is not hard to see how fast this can jam up the system. With the new rules and processes about to be put in place for the Affordable Care Act, updates will need to be made quickly. So, the IRS has now developed a cloud-based portal called the Integrated Enterprise Portal (IEP). The idea is that there is an online location where both internal and external users can input information privately, but can be accessed throughout the IRS to expedite most processes. Getting such an extensive project up and running has not been easy for the IRS with budget constraints, time limits, and government furloughs. Even with these setbacks, though, the IEP is here and has gone live on the new IRS.gov.

Hopefully, this is the push the IRS needs to not only get ahead of its previously lagging services, but to also keep up with all the changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act. However, some taxpayers may find it a little frightening. Anyone who has kept up with celebrity news this year knows that Google has had its share of hacking troubles with their Cloud services. However, if the IRS is ready to make such a huge improvement to its technology, perhaps better protection against tax fraud is also on its way as well.