CADE release depends on employee mastery

CADE release depends on employee mastery

The new IRS taxpayer database will go live this year if and when workers at the agency’s Martinsburg, W.Va., data center can operate the Customer Account Data Engine under peak demand.

CADE’s first release is in final testing for Form 1040EZ filings. IRS first had to update it with 2003 tax law changes and retest because it had been developed for 2002 law. “Once we release the first version, there’s no going back,” said Rick Skorny, deputy associate commissioner for program management, speaking yesterday before a public- and private-sector IT group.

Skorny said CADE will handle 4 million to 5 million EZ returns, a fraction of the 125 million returns it should ultimately process.

With final unit testing complete, next come weeks of integration testing. “We’re going to run a pilot in parallel with the existing Master File System,” Skorny said. He said he could not estimate the number of parallel weeks, but CADE will likely process about 1,000 test cases.

“We want to make sure that all the people in the Martinsburg center get this down to like the back of their hands,” he said. “When we turn this thing on, it has to operate flawlessly.”

IRS has refused to be pinned down to a target date, having already missed several. If CADE is ready too late in the year, it bumps into preparations for the next filing season, CIO Todd Grams said. Future versions of CADE and the Integrated Financial System will be delayed in favor of successful release of both initial versions this year. The core accounting system is expected to roll out in April.

The IRS Oversight Board made a scathing assessment of Business Systems Modernization in December and directed IRS and its Prime contractor, Computer Sciences Corp., to follow recommendations to better manage the mammoth project.
Skorny also said the Modernized eFile system, which will use Extensible Markup Language, is in final testing and due out in February for e-filing by corporations and tax-exempt organizations. That will eliminate the time-consuming processing of paper returns from some Fortune 500 companies, which send 18-foot trucks packed with boxes of documents supporting their tax returns, he said.

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