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IRS Chief Tries to Protect Crown-Jewel Computer System From Cuts

A long-awaited modernization of the Internal Revenue Service’s computer system for processing individual tax returns has evaded lawmakers’ efforts to slice the agency’s budget by $600 million.

The upgrade, which will allow the IRS to process the returns on a daily instead of a weekly cycle during the 2012 filing season, is part of a business systems modernization program, begun 12 years ago, that also includes overhauls of the agency’s electronic tax filing and data retrieval systems.