The failure to get a revamped computer program online to screen for fraudulent 2006 tax returns will cost the federal government between $200 million and $300 million, the Internal Revenue Service has estimated.

Contractor Computer Sciences Corp. had promised to deliver a new version of the screener program, which has searched for signs of fraud in every return claiming a refund since 1996. When the firm was unable to produce a working program by the January deadline, the IRS couldn't restore the old program in time for April 15.

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