IRS won't use the Internet?for now

The Internal Revenue Service has abandoned plans for a pilot project offering electronic filing over the Internet for the April 15 tax deadline, although the agency may test such a system later in the year, Treasury Department deputy assistant secretary for information systems Wushow "Bill" Chou said last week.

Chou said the IRS was concerned it would not have enough time to test the system, built by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), before tax day.

Sources familiar with Cyberfile, as the program is being called, have raised concerns about its security safeguards. However, Chou said, IRS officials worried that parts of the system might not work properly.

Renee Edwards, a spokeswoman for NTIS, said her agency has delivered its system but has not been given a date "to turn it on." IRS spokesman Frank Keith said no decision had been made about whether to proceed with the project.

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