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Tax Policy and Administration (21 - 30 of 1,534 items)
Internal Revenue Service: Preliminary Observations on the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request and 2016 Filing Season Performance
GAO-16-459R: Published: Mar 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 7, 2016.
The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) fiscal year 2016 appropriation increased by $290 million to $11.2 billion over fiscal year 2015 but is about $900 million (7 percent) lower than fiscal year 2011. IRS allocated the funds across 3 appropriation accounts: Taxpayer Services ($176.8 million), Operations Support ($108.2 million), and Enforcement ($4.9 million). For fiscal year 2017, the President...
Information Security: IRS Needs to Further Improve Controls over Financial and Taxpayer Data
GAO-16-398: Published: Mar 28, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2016.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made progress in implementing information security controls; however, weaknesses in the controls limited their effectiveness in protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of financial and sensitive taxpayer data. During fiscal year 2015, IRS continued to devote attention to securing its information systems that process sensitive taxpayer and fina...
IRS Referral Programs: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Controls and Increase Coordination across Overlapping Programs
GAO-16-155: Published: Feb 23, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 2016.
Information referrals from the public alleging tax noncompliance must be submitted on paper forms by mail to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These referrals are manually screened by clerical staff and routed by mail to units across IRS for further action, as shown in the figure.Process for Screening and Routing Information Referrals for Further ReviewIneffective internal controls undercut IRS...
Small Employer Health Tax Credit: Limited Use Continues Due to Multiple Reasons
GAO-16-491T: Published: Mar 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 2016.
Claims of the small employer health tax credit have continued to be lower than thought eligible by government agency and small business group estimates, limiting the effect of the credit on expanding health insurance coverage through small employers. In 2014, about 181,000 employers claimed the credit, down somewhat from 2010 (see figure). These numbers are relatively low compared to the number of...
2015 Tax Filing Season: Deteriorating Taxpayer Service Underscores Need for a Comprehensive Strategy and Process Efficiencies
GAO-16-151: Published: Dec 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 2016.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided the lowest level of telephone service during fiscal year 2015 compared to prior years, with only 38 percent of callers who wanted to speak with an IRS assistor able to reach one. This lower level of service occurred despite lower demand from callers seeking live assistance, which has fallen by 6 percent since 2010 to about 51 million callers in 2015. Ove...
IRS Return Selection: Certain Internal Controls for Audits in the Small Business and Self-Employed Division Should Be Strengthened
GAO-16-103: Published: Dec 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 2016.
The Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE) division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses over 30 methods, called workstreams, to identify and review tax returns that may merit an audit. These returns were initially identified through seven sources which include referrals; computer programs that run filters, rules, or algorithms to identify potentially noncompliant taxpayers; and related return...
IRS Return Selection: Wage and Investment Division Should Define Audit Objectives and Refine Other Internal Controls
GAO-16-102: Published: Dec 17, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 2016.
Three offices in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Wage and Investment division (W&I) are responsible for selecting returns for audit. Most returns are selected via computer systems that automatically send notices to taxpayers based on certain criteria, such as the validity of dependents. W&I program officials annually review the criteria and apply updates to the following filing season's retur...
IRS Whistleblower Program: Billions Collected, but Timeliness and Communication Concerns May Discourage Whistleblowers
GAO-16-20: Published: Oct 29, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2015.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Whistleblower Office (WO) is responsible for processing thousands of tax whistleblower claims annually for two related whistleblower programs: for claims of $2 million or less, the 7623(a) program, and for claims over $2 million, the 7623(b) program. The whistleblower claim review process takes several years to complete, and GAO found that the WO is not using ava...
Financial Audit: IRS's Fiscal Years 2015 and 2014 Financial Statements
GAO-16-146: Published: Nov 12, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 2015.
In GAO's opinion, the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) fiscal years 2015 and 2014 financial statements are fairly presented in all material respects. However, in GAO's opinion, IRS did not maintain effective internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2015, because of a continuing material weakness in internal control over unpaid tax assessments. GAO's tests of IRS's compliance w...
Independent Auditor's Report on Applying Agreed-Upon Procedures: Fiscal Year 2015 Excise Tax Distributions to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and the Highway Trust Fund
GAO-16-109R: Published: Nov 5, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 5, 2015.
GAO performed the procedures contained in the enclosures to this report, which it agreed to perform solely to assist the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General in ascertaining whether the net excise tax revenue distributed to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) and the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015, is supported by underlying records.GAO was...