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IT Problems at IRS and Medicare: More to Come?

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Publication Date: October 2006

Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center

Author(s): C. Eugene Steuerle

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Economics (Economic policy, planning, and development)

Keywords: Fiscal future; Taxes and Social Programs; Taxes, the Budget, and the Economy; General Tax Policy

Type: Report


Already in 2006 alone, the IRS has potentially lost billions of dollars in revenue by failing to come up with a computer program that would replace one that identified returns likely to be fraudulently filed, while Medicare and Social Security have mistakenly sent refunds to 230,000 people who signed up for a prescription drug plan under the new Part D of Medicare. It is likely that these stories are symptoms of a much more serious government problem in hiring and retaining top-notch people who keep up with new technology, its uses, and its limitations.