Thursday, December 11, 2003

At I.R.S., a Systems Update Gone Awry

At I.R.S., a Systems Update Gone Awry: "Most taxpayers are younger than the computer system that the I.R.S. relies on to maintain its master files on individuals and businesses - all the records of who they are, where they are, their income, taxes paid, and the amounts they still owe or are owed as refunds.
The I.R.S. says it can still process returns and send out refunds on time, but its dependence on the 1960's-era Assembler and Cobol computer languages makes it difficult to investigate and resolve taxpayers' problems. Finding a record using the existing system can take a week; the new system is supposed to do the job in seconds."

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