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April 04, 2023

Schweikert Sends Letter to IRS Commissioner Werfel Requesting Update on IRS IT Modernization Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representative David Schweikert (AZ-01), Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, sent a letter to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Daniel Werfel requesting an update on IT modernization efforts at the agency. In April 2019, the IRS released a six-year strategy as part of its Modernization Plan to update the agency’s IT systems and build necessary critical infrastructure to bring the IRS into the 21st century to best serve American taxpayers.

The IRS received a massive infusion of $80 billion on top of its annual budget from the Inflation Reduction Act, of which $25.3 billion was allocated for operations support and $4.8 billion was allocated for business systems modernization. Therefore, the agency has sufficient funding to implement the required upgrades.

In his letter, Rep. Schweikert noted the importance of this update considering a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report recommending several IT upgrades which the IRS agreed to implement:

“This request is particularly timely given the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in January 2023, which reviewed the IRS’s legacy environment, assessed the IRS’s modernization plans, and evaluated the agency’s cloud computing implementation. In doing this review, GAO analyzed legacy applications, software, and hardware data; assessed plans for 21 modernization initiatives against practices identified in GAO’s prior work; and compared IRS’s cloud computing documentation to relevant federal requirements. The GAO made nine recommendations to the IRS, including that the agency establish time frames to complete selected modernization plans and fully address the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) cloud computing requirements. According to GAO, the IRS agreed with all nine recommendations.”

Additionally, Rep. Schweikert also pointed out that the IRS agreed to implement IT upgrades recommended by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in its September 2022 report:

“In addition, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report in September 2022, to assess the security and access controls over the Taxpayer Digital Communications (TDC) platform. The TDC enables faster communication and offers taxpayers and their authorized representatives the ability to securely send and receive electronic messages and documents to and from IRS agents and customer service representatives. TIGTA made 11 recommendations to the IRS’s CIO, which include ensuring that the standard operating procedures are updated to require continuous monitoring security reviews are conducted, along with security reviews, gain managed service provider (MSP) personnel timely upgrade antivirus software in accordance with requirements; users are both authorized and have access to the TDC platform; and a process is developed to timely identify, quarantine, and remove user accounts for inactivity in accordance with requirements. According to TIGTA, IRS agreed with all 11 recommendations and the report outlined some the IRS’s plans to address TIGTA’s recommendations moving forward.”

Rep. Schweikert requested a briefing from the Acting Chief Information Office of the agency on IT modernization plans and efforts by April 28, 2023. 

To read the full letter, click here.

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