The enhancements that the Internal Revenue Service is making to its Modenized e-File computer system promise to improve the system’s reliability and reduce delays in processing tax returns next filing season, according to a new report.

The report, from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, noted that during the last filing season, the IRS had to suspend MeF system processing on at least two occasions to correct system performance issues. The IRS subsequently reviewed the MeF system performance issues and identified major categories of work to address performance and reliability issues.

For the report, TIGTA reviewed whether infrastructure changes to the MeF system were on track to deliver improvements in performance and reliability for next filing season.

The IRS took the necessary steps to improve MeF system performance, TIGTA found. These included testing the system’s ability to process high volumes of returns for a sustained period of time. The tests concluded that the MeF system would meet peak performance requirements.

In addition, the IRS increased the bandwidth of the portal that serves as the entry point for web-based access to IRS applications and data.  Because other IRS applications use the same portal as the MeF system, this increased bandwidth helps guard against a decrease in overall system performance.

“The Modified e-File System is a critical component to meet the needs of taxpayers, reduce taxpayer burden, and broaden the use of electronic interactions,” said TIGTA Inspector General J. Russell George in a statement. “Collectively, the various categories of work should provide the enhancements intended to correct problems associated with the 2012 filing season and give the IRS assurance of the MeF system’s readiness for the 2013 filing season."

TIGTA did not make any recommendations in this report, and the IRS had no comment on the report.

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