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Continued Review of the Tax Systems Modernization of the Internal Revenue Service: Final Report
The Integrated Case Processing (ICP) and the Integrated Collection System (ICS) projects are the principal drivers for TSM. ICP is being implemented as a set of workstation applications, supported eventually by a set of database servers at each customer service site. ICP will eventually support 56,000 customer service representatives, who will have modern telephone call distribution and on-line access to taxpayer records. In principle, this will allow the IRS to perform “one-stop” processing of taxpayer requests and to reduce inaccuracies in the system. ICS will allow IRS auditors to conduct more efficient audits and to determine areas of noncompliance that should receive more focus.
ICP and ICS will require access to a modern, nationwide database of taxpayer records, which is the principal responsibility of the Corporate Accounts Processing System (CAPS).4 CAPS is being developed on a suite of new mainframes, housed in the three corporate computing centers. These centers will share the transaction work load coming from all other IRS sites and will serve as mutual backup sites in case of failure.
In order to service the information requirements of the ICP and ICS applications, a greater amount of tax return data will be needed in the tax return databases. Current, manual-intensive data entry operations conducted at the submission processing centers record about 40 percent of the numeric data contained on tax returns. The primary objectives of the submission processing projects (Document Processing System, DPS; Electronic Filing, ELF; Telephone Filing, TeleFile; Service Center Recognition Image Processing System, SCRIPS) are to increase in a cost-efficient manner the ability of the IRS to record 100 percent of the numeric data found on tax returns. Another objective of these projects is to decrease the number of tax returns that are stored and processed in paper form.
As of the writing of this report, TSM is roughly half way through the design and implementation cycle. With varying degrees of success, TSM goals have been specified, architectural guidelines have been written, detailed designs have been generated, and the development of initial versions of the major applications and systems has begun. The IRS has not yet demonstrated an integrated capability resulting from TSM projects, nor has it fully deployed any significant TSM component.
Chapters 2 and 3 comment on the “success” of each step in the development cycle and provide recommendations on how to best improve known deficiencies and increase the likelihood of future success.
The term “corporate accounts” describes the collection of taxpayer data that is used by the IRS to process tax returns. Corporate does not refer to the tax records of U.S. corporations (e.g., a corporate tax return) or to the “enterprise” data needed to run the IRS.