IRS to calculate on notebook PCs

IRS to calculate on notebook PCs

The IRS has begun implementing the Customer Relationship Management Exam project, a business systems modernization project that will let tax examiners conduct complex calculations on notebook PCs.

The agency has trained about 400 employees to use Corporate Tax Audit Analyzer software from the Bureau of National Affairs of Washington, according to Robert Ragano, the project manager.

IRS has completed about 10 percent of the deployment of the software at several sites, including California and Ohio, he said.

Beginning in October, 400 units of the software will be deployed every month nationwide.

By August 2002, the IRS will train the remaining 3,500 examiners and agents who handle large and midsize companies and international accounts, Ragano said.

Through CRM, the IRS tackles some of its most complex tax calculations. It will enhance agents' capabilities and reduce exam time and the burden on taxpayers who deal with these complex issues.

Do the math

The agency selected Corporate Tax Audit Analyzer in September of last year. Agents who tested the software were happy with its performance, Ragano said.

The main strengths of the program include its capacity to conduct carryback and carryover calculations for net operating losses and other losses; the interaction of losses and charitable contributions; alternative minimum tax calculations; and foreign tax credit calculations, including carrybacks and carryovers, said IRS spokeswoman Tamara Ward.

The system also provides instantaneous calculations for all years, she said.

The agency has spent about $12 million on the project, Ragano said. The IRS is training its employees, and the Bureau of National Affairs is providing help desk support.

Long-term plans include extending the software to agents who deal with small businesses and self-employed taxpayers, he said.

Another initiative, called the Reporting Compliance project, is scheduled to kick off in December.

'The plan is to provide a total suite to tax agents, which will include a report generation feature replacing the agency's homegrown software,' Ragano said. 'It's going to be the bigger of the two projects and will subsume the CRM Exam project."

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