Accenture secures up to $2.6 billion contract to modernize IRS systems

(Reuters) – An Accenture Plc unit said on Wednesday it had secured an up to $2.6 billion deal with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for modernizing the government tax agency’s systems.

Accenture Federal Services said it had been awarded the contract for seven years, adding that it will have to compete for future orders to support the IRS with creating new ways for taxpayers and professionals to interact with the agency.

Earlier this month, the IRS said it would launch a free, government-provided direct tax filing option next year, which could result in the launch of a full-scale IRS filing system on par with private tax prepapers such as TurboTax-parent Intuit Inc.

Intuit on Tuesday forecast current-quarter profit below estimates as it prepares to tackle competition by investing in its products.

“This is really not a threat at all,” Intuit CEO Sasan Goodrazi said alluding to IRS’ exploratory study that 72% of American taxpayers surveyed were “very interested in” or “somewhat interested in” using a government tool to electronically file their tax returns.

(Reporting by Tanya Jain and Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)