The Inflation Reduction Act, which passed the Senate recently and has now passed the House with a 220-207 majority, sets out $80 billion for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), part of which would be used to modernize its IT systems and boost cybercrime investigations.
The Act is expected to be signed into law by President Biden imminently. It has been subject to amendments including dilution on some of Biden’s earlier climate goals in order to attract enough Democratic support. Republicans are united against the Act. It still packs a punch though and will be a step forward in America’s climate resilience program as well as addressing inflation, healthcare costs and corporate taxation.
The IRS funding allows for $25.3 billion for “operations support” and $4.8 billion for “business system modernization”. In 2019, the IRS released a plan to upgrade the business systems it uses to administer taxpayer services, operations, and cybersecurity. It received $1billion in IT modernization funding under the American Rescue Plan Act last year and $275 million for modernization planning from the fiscal year 2022 budget. These additional Inflation Reduction Act funds, to be provided over a decade, could further enhance the IRS’ modernization plan with key investment in new technologies and systems after years of reliance on outdated legacy systems.