The Internal Revenue Service has released a request for information and a draft performance work statement for a new modernization project centered on upgrading mainframe systems, according to an April 17 notice.

The project, called the Information Returns Program Development Modernization project, will focus on updating the systems that process information returns, which are tax documents that businesses file to report transactions to the IRS. The agency uses them for tax verification and reporting.

According to the draft performance work statement, the modernization effort is needed because the old systems are unable to handle new requirements placed on the IRS by a series of new legislative mandates, like the Affordable Care Act.

“The legacy system cannot accommodate additional document codes, which are critical to uniquely identifying the forms by downstream systems,” the document said. “To accommodate these and other requirements, the IRP environment requires significant reengineering. The Information Returns Program Development (IRPD) program aims to address this reengineering challenge.”

The IRDP program is responsible for the life cycle of the information returns, from the time they are submitted to when they are sent “down stream.”

The contractor will modernize the intake, storage, use and distribution of the tax documents. Additionally, the contractor will create an “integration bridge” that will allow the IRS to “connect up and down stream systems allowing them to leverage the efficiencies gained through the modernization efforts,” the document said.

The modernization effort has seven objectives:

  1. Create a modern and flexible solution for acceptance, validation, perfection, management and use of information returns data.
  2. Replace aging systems with modern, adaptive and sustainable technologies.
  3. Use information returns data to support enhanced compliance processes.
  4. Consolidate, standardize and simplify intake and validation systems for information returns.
  5. Establish a new design for information return processing to support new types of information returns.
  6. Improve data access and data integration for downstream systems.
  7. Develop a foundation for streamlining operations.

The current information returns system is made up of modernized and legacy systems, in part because of a 2016 effort to modernize IT systems to meet requirements under the Affordable Care Act.

“The IRPD will create the foundation for the modernization of systems processing existing information returns forms,” the document read. “The IRPD will build a maintainable foundation that will be extended in the future as new requirements are introduced.”

Responses are due April 30.

Andrew Eversden covered all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. Beforehand, he reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.

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