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IRS INNOVATIONS IN DATA SECURITY

May 30, 2008

Want to throw the tax system into turmoil? Go back to filing paper returns. At least that's the conclusion of George Jakabcin, IRS assistant deputy associate chief information officer for systems integration. Tax Analysts reports ($link):

If some event led half of the current e-filers to switch back to paper, "we would be in a world of hurt," Jakabcin said. "We no longer have the capability to process the additional 43 million returns manually. We no longer have the facilities, we don't have the IT infrastructure in place to support them, we don't have the people, and some would begin to argue that we are beginning to lose the expertise."

There is, he said, "no going back."

Hmmm.... maybe we all file paper next year, just for fun.

Well, if we did stop e-filing, the IRS would surely adapt with their accustomed cleverness. From the same Tax Analysts piece:

After a Veterans Administration laptop with thousands of personal records went missing two years ago, some IRS employees took to somehow locking their own laptops to toilets, according to Kathleen Walters, acting IRS director of privacy and information protection.

"They figured that if someone stole a toilet through the roof, someone's going to notice it," Walters said.

So... did they flush?

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