IRS' CADE reaches the 1 million mark this tax season

IRS' CADE reaches the 1 million mark this tax season

The IRS' modern taxpayer database has processed more than 1 million simple tax returns so far this filing season, said Richard Spires, the tax agency's associate CIO for Business Systems Modernization.

The Customer Account Data Engine, launched last summer, handles 1040EZ forms for filers who owe no taxes. CADE will process about 1.3 million such returns this year and 3 million next filing season, Spires said today at the FOSE trade show in Washington. The relational database will replace the 1960s-era tape-based Master File.

Later this year, the IRS expects to begin layering in the business rules engine for use in 2006, ultimately encoding tens of thousands of business rules. Like an electronic accountant, the engine applies the appropriate business rules to each question on an electronic tax form, such as calculating tax or processing a refund.

This summer IRS will set its approach for implementing the business rules. "IRS is prototyping the end-to-end process," Spires, said, from harvesting business rules to storing those rules in a repository to actually implementing them in CADE.

The tax agency also is considering testing the business rules engine for its Tier 2 Unix server environment in addition to the mainframe environment. CADE runs on mainframes, and there is no plan to change that in the near term. But "we want the flexibility," Spires said. "We have also built the architecture so that if in the future it makes sense to separate out the processing in CADE to various platform types, we could do that."

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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