The IRS is using such ancient equipment and systems that they are having difficulties finding employees that know how to use the systems, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report.
Government technology often lags behind the private sector. In the case of the IRS, the technology is archaic. The GAO report found about 33% of applications, 23% of software, and 8% of hardware that the IRS uses daily is considered “legacy.”
Some of these legacy systems are 25 to 64 years old, with other software systems 15 version behind the currently available version. This means some of the systems the IRS uses today were implemented during the Eisenhower Administration.
According to the report, “In order to operate and maintain legacy systems, staff may need experience with older technology… Agencies have had difficulty finding employees with such knowledge and may have to pay a premium to hire specialized staff or contractors.”
In addition to staffing issues, other risks that these outdated systems pose include security risks, unmet mission needs, and increased maintenance costs.
Congress appropriated the IRS $12.6 billion in 2022, with an additional $80 billion over the next 10 years from the Inflation Reduction Act, yet somehow, the agency can’t find the money to update its systems with software from the 21st century.
Americans attempting to file their taxes with little support from the IRS can remember that at least part of the problem is decades-old equipment.
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