The following is from a report by TIGTA of the challenges the IRS will face in implementing the new tax bills and new forms in time for the 2019 tax season. The IRS has not yet announced the start date for the 2019 tax season. Your NSTP team will be following this issue on your behalf and will let you know when an official date has announced for acceptance of 2018 tax returns by the IRS.
The report pointed out that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 made a number of significant changes to the Tax Code affecting individuals and businesses, as well as tax-exempt organizations, and is the first major tax reform legislation in more than 30 years. The IRS estimates that implementation of the law will require creating or revising approximately 450 forms, publications and instructions, and modifying around 140 information technology systems to ensure it can accommodate the newly revised tax forms.
Another major area of concern, according to the report, is the IRS’s ability to quickly fill a number of critical positions that were vacated by IRS employees or contractors. Thanks to the lengthy process involved in hiring IRS employees or bringing contractors on board, the positions might not be quickly filled, against putting the timeliness of the IT updates at risk.
The IRS received $320 million from Congress to implement the TCJA, including $291 million it estimated would be needed for the IT and ancillary operations support work.
The IRS’s IT organization is planning to identify any potential negative impact on its existing programs and projects from implementing the tax overhaul. But as of mid-July, the IRS had not provided documentation of any ongoing projects or programs that will be negatively affected. TIGTA said that it’s continuing to review the IT organization’s efforts to implement the new tax law.
In response to the report, IRS chief information officer S. Gina Garza said the IRS IT organization is committed to implementing the modifications required by the TCJA and providing a successful tax season for American taxpayers.
“The IRS has created new forms and governance structures to increase communication, collaboration and alignment across critical IT stakeholders and implement tax reform changes, including an Executive Oversight Team comprised of IT leaders,” she wrote. “The IRS has also secured adequate funding and hiring flexibility for tax reform implementation, and proactively addresses outstanding resource gaps.”