Since 1998, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been undergoing a major effort to modernize its overall structure. This report examines the status of the IRS' efforts to improve its research operations. GAO discusses the (1) steps IRS has taken to modernize its research operations since October 1, 2000, (2) areas of concern raised in past reports and studies of IRS research operations, and (3) status of IRS' efforts to address these concerns within the new research operations. GAO found that IRS has completed the creation of research units within each of its operational divisions to work together collaboratively and has continuously placed staff in key leadership positions. IRS is just beginning its efforts to address past areas of concern. Challenges involving research leadership, human capital, organizational infrastructure, systems and data management, customer focus, and performance measures must still be addressed.
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