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If you’re like millions of Americans every year, you’d like your tax refund quickly—it’s money you count on. Unfortunately, not all tax returns are submitted by law-abiding citizens. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is under constant attack from criminals submitting bogus tax returns.
The agency needed a tighter net to catch fraudulent requests, while not slowing down the overall refund process. The IRS turned to Booz Allen to enhance its fraud detection program and manage its Electronic Fraud Detection System (EFDS). The improved system has saved the agency billions in potential revenue loss.
“Booz Allen created a system that flagged more than 2.7 million potentially fraudulent returns for the IRS.”
The EFDS is the agency’s first line of defense against scammers. It scans more than 240 million tax returns within hours of receipt and assigns a risk score. The risk score determines whether a return will be processed and, where appropriate, a refund issued, or whether the return requires further review.
For Booz Allen, the challenge was twofold: We needed to improve the system’s performance and enable ongoing modifications to an incredibly complex system, with minimal disruption.
Booz Allen’s team of consultants dramatically strengthened the agency’s ability to detect fraud. With business process improvements, we reduced fraud and lightened internal workloads by improving the quality of returns coming in from paid return preparers.
In addition, we created a streamlined process to implement more than 40 major software changes each year required by updates to the tax code. The enhancement focused on both software upgrades and organization and training for IRS staff.
To stay ahead of tax code changes that could create opportunities for fraud, we implemented new data models on a “fast track” basis in time for each tax filing season.
The amount of taxpayer money protected is impressive. In 2012, the enhanced EFDS flagged more than 2.7 million potentially fraudulent returns and protected against $16 billion in potential revenue loss. This represents a 200-percent increase from the previous year and a 2,185-percent increase from when Booz Allen began managing the system.
During the same period, the IRS has maintained its commitment to getting legitimate refund checks to taxpayers quickly. In recognition of these outstanding results, the Booz Allen-developed fraud detection system won the IRS Commissioner’s Award.
Looking to modernize and transform your organization? Booz Allen’s technology experts are up to the challenge. We help government leaders think through their mission challenges strategically, developing leading digital solutions to meet them.