For the 2001 fiscal year, the IRS requested $128 million to meet funding needs for its Business Systems Modernization program. The IRS requested, and the House and Senate Appropriations Committee delivered, that is after careful deliberation.
Before any money was handed over, an internal IRS group, the Treasury Department, the Office of Management and Budget, and the General Accounting Office looked into the program. The Business Systems Modernization program’s aim is to improve the IRS in its entirety by using new technology to make everything more effective and more efficient. After everyone approved (after coming to a compromise where the IRS agreed to make some changes to the program) and the Senate and House Appropriations Committee gave its deciding “okay”, the money was taken out of an Information Technology Investment Account of $577 million that Congress had set aside.
When deciding whether or not to award the money, the Congressional Leaders looked into the success of the IRS’ previous programs. The previous funding went into paying for information technology related projects and BMS project designs. This funding also went towards assisting the IRS in helping about eight million taxpayers over the phone during the last tax season.
The newly granted money will go towards paying for projects that have been approved in the past as well as new projects such as the Customer Account Management, the Filing and Payment Compliance, the Reporting Compliance, the Taxpayer Education and the Workload Planning and Control Project. With the money left over after that, the IRS will use it to pay for about the first two months of the 2002 fiscal year.
The new funding will also help the IRS in initiating its CRE-EXAM (Customer Relationship Management Exam) Project, which is software that assists the IRS agents in handling difficult tax calculations, such as carryback and carryforward, Alternative Minimum Tax and Foreign Tax Credit. Another project that will get some funding is the Security and Technology Infrastructure Release Project, which is scheduled to be released next year.