Congress is now considering the Biden administration’s proposal to give the IRS long-term funding and other authorities with the goal of improving tax administration, reduce the tax gap, and strengthen customer service. To fully realize these benefits, the IRS will need to transform to make greater use of data and technology, rebuild its workforce, and revitalize its leadership cadre and culture. IRS transformation will require a true 21st century workforce, not just in terms of numbers but also in terms of skill sets and flexibilities.
The National Academy of Public Administration is sponsoring a series of 3 virtual, 90-minute forums (to be held on October 12, 19, and 26, 2021) that will gather experienced leaders and practitioners to provide advice to the Congress, the Administration, the Treasury Department, and the IRS on the challenges and issues that could be encountered in the transformation of the IRS. Each session will consist of a brief introduction by former IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti to summarize the IRS's current situation, followed by 60 minutes of expert panel discussion led by a moderator and a 20-minute Q&A period. Panel 2 will be about the technology-enabled transformation of the IRS to improve taxpayers' services and significantly reduce the tax gap and Panel 3 will be about transforming the leadership and culture at IRS.
Please access these read-ahead documents, written by Charles Rossotti, Dr. Ron Sanders, and Fred Forman to learn more.
Transformation begins with people, and the IRS is no different. It will require a true 21st-century workforce, not just in terms of numbers but also in terms of skill sets. Moreover, the IRS will need far more flexibility than provided by the ‘regular’ civil service, as well as a human capital/labor relations strategy that leverages those flexibilities. Our first panel, moderated by NAPA Fellow HON Dr. Ron Sanders, former IRS Chief HR Officer and Associate Director of OPM, explored these issues. Watch the video recording of the session here:
This panel focused on how the IRS can more effectively deploy advanced, but available, technologies such as machine learning to significantly reduce the tax gap by providing top-notch taxpayer service and more effectively finding taxpayers who have not fully reported the taxes that they legally owe. We discussed the challenges related to deploying new technologies while simultaneously modernizing the IRS’s very old core accounting systems. This panel, moderated by Dr. Fred Forman, former EVP for American Management Systems and IRS Associate Commissioner for Modernization, explored these issues. Watch the video recording of the session here:
If the IRS is to fully realize the investments in its technology and its workforce advocated by the first two panels, it will require a leadership team committed to transforming its culture—not just at the top but all through the ranks of career IRS employees—as well as implementing a comprehensive change management strategy to guide them. Our final panel, moderated by Jim Cook from MITRE, explored these issues, as well as key lessons learned from previous transformation efforts in the IRS and elsewhere.