IRS modernization gets $205M

Congressional appropriators served up relatively slim pickings for the Internal Revenue Service's modernization effort next fiscal year despite the agency's already trimmed-down budget request.

Congress approved $205 million for the Business Systems Modernization project, $80 million less than tax agency officials had requested. Both chambers approved the final amount Nov. 21 as part of a $388.4 billion combined-agency spending package for fiscal 2005. President Bush is expected to sign the bill later this week after the House follows the Senate in removing language permitting appropriations committees to examine individual tax returns.

The final funds tally for IRS modernization is more, however, than Senate appropriators originally wanted to give the troubled project. Senators voted in September to give the decade-long effort to replace the IRS' Kennedy-era processing technology only $125 million.

At the time, a Senate staffer said the proposed deep cut would have forced the IRS to concentrate its resources on completing projects rather than continuing to spread itself too thin by attempting to achieve too much. IRS officials had already significantly scaled down their fiscal 2005 request to allay those fears, asking for $144 million less than Congress approved for fiscal 2004.

"We did that because we needed to reduce the number of projects we were working on and get more focused," said W. Todd Grams, the IRS' chief information officer, in an August interview.

Modernization funding was also cut in order to free funds for more tax law enforcement funding, the Senate staffer said. Senate appropriators approved $4.5 billion for tax law enforcement — $348 million than appropriated in fiscal 2004 and $241 million more than the House appropriators voted for in July. The final amount approved in the omnibus was $4.3 billion.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.


  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.