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Rep. Jenkins CNN Op-ed: The IRS is still using fax machines. It’s time for a makeover

March 27, 2018

The IRS is still using fax machines. It’s time for a makeover

By Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee

CNN – March 26, 2018


Thanks to the Internal Revenue Service, many dread the month of April. In fact, if given the option between (a) dealing with the IRS or (b) undergoing a root canal, most would probably go to the dentist. That’s because the IRS is anything but user-friendly. Trust me, as a certified public accountant, I’ve heard all the horror stories and have helped taxpayers through a good number myself.

At a time when most Americans are able to spend entire days working with just their iPhones, the IRS still relies on fax machines for many official communications. This means tax-preparers spend countless hours sending faxes to the IRS. Imagine the racket in that building. According to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, the agency has two of the oldest legacy information technology (IT) systems in the federal government, which given the broader state of our government’s IT infrastructure, is quite an achievement. The IRS still has 1960s systems from the Kennedy Administration used to administer our nation’s tax code, one of the most critical functions in government.
Last December, Republicans passed historic tax reform legislation, which President Donald Trump signed into law. With a reformed tax code, it’s now time to fix the tax collection agency.
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