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Buchanan Announces Hearing on the Internal Revenue Service’s Information Technology Modernization Efforts

September 28, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) announced that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled “IRS Reform: Challenges to Modernizing IT Infrastructure” on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 10:00 AM in room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building 9:00 AM in 2020 Rayburn House Office Building. Members will examine the current state of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) information technology (IT), the challenges the IRS faces as it seeks to modernize its IT infrastructure, and areas where the IRS could further improve its efforts.

Upon announcing the hearing, Chairman Buchanan said:

As we continue to examine areas where tax administration reforms are needed, any such reforms must be built on a solid and reliable IT infrastructure. Efforts by the IRS to modernize its infrastructure have been inadequate, leaving the agency struggling to fulfill its basic mission. My hope is that by having an in-depth discussion on these issues, we can ensure a more modern and efficient IRS.” 


The IRS maintains a number of legacy IT systems, some of which date back to the 1960s.  In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the IRS spent $2.7 billion on IT, 70 percent of which was spent on the operations and maintenance of existing IT systems.  The remaining 30 percent was spent on development, modernization, and enhancement efforts. The IRS anticipates the percentage spent on operations and maintenance will increase to 86 percent of the IT budget for FY 2018.

The IRS has struggled to replace large legacy IT systems, which often cost substantially more and take significantly longer to implement than initially estimated. The IRS’s watchdogs have continually raised concerns about the IRS’s IT systems and its modernization efforts.  For example, the Government Accountability Office has concluded the IRS needs to improve its processes for prioritizing and reporting the performance of its IT investments.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has raised concerns about the IRS’s management of its software as well as its aging hardware, 64 percent of which is beyond its useful life.


** Note New Time and Location**