IRS would cut modernization money

Internal Revenue Service officials want more money in fiscal 2006, but not for modernization.

According to President Bush's fiscal 2006 budget request, the tax agency's modernization effort would be decreased compared with last year's funding level, despite an overall IRS request amounting to $443 million more than the fiscal 2005 appropriation.

IRS officials are asking for $10.7 billion in appropriations for the agency. But the modernization request is $199 million, less than the $205 million lawmakers approved last year for the Business Systems Modernization program. It's also less than the $285 million tax agency officials had requested last year.

"The 2006 budget focuses resources on projects with direct impact on taxpayer service and enforcement efforts," IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said in a written statement.

Modernization is not the only area slated for cutbacks within IRS. Walk-in taxpayer services would be curtailed because the number of visitors has dropped as use of the tax agency's Web site has increased, Everson said.

Tax enforcement, however, would get an 8 percent increase compared with fiscal 2005 funding. The need for more enforcement spending was cited as one reason for the fiscal 2005 budget proposal cut by a Senate staffer on the appropriations committee.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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