Tax returns (61 - 70 of 188 items)
Paid Tax Return Preparers: In a Limited Study, Chain Preparers Made Serious Errors
GAO-06-563T: Published: Apr 4, 2006. Publicly Released: Apr 4, 2006.
Despite the importance of paid tax return preparers in helping taxpayers fulfill their obligations, little data exist on the quality of services they provide. Paid preparers include, for example, enrolled agents, who are approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) once they pass an examination on tax matters or demonstrate past IRS employment experience, and unenrolled preparers, who include se...
Tax Gap: Making Significant Progress in Improving Tax Compliance Rests on Enhancing Current IRS Techniques and Adopting New Legislative Actions
GAO-06-453T: Published: Feb 15, 2006. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2006.
The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) most recent estimate of the difference between what taxpayers timely and accurately paid in taxes and what they owed was $345 billion. IRS estimates it will eventually recover some of this tax gap, resulting in an estimated net tax gap of $290 billion. The tax gap arises when taxpayers fail to comply with the tax laws by underreporting tax liabilities on tax re...
Tax Administration: IRS Improved Some Filing Season Services, but Long-term Goals Would Help Manage Strategic Trade-offs
GAO-06-51: Published: Nov 14, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 14, 2005.
During the filing season, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) processes about 130 million individual tax returns, issues refunds, and responds to millions of inquiries. Budget cuts combined with IRS's strategy of shifting resources from taxpayer service to enforcement make providing quality service a challenge. GAO was asked to assess IRS's 2005 filing season performance compared to past years and...
Tax Compliance: Better Compliance Data and Long-term Goals Would Support a More Strategic IRS Approach to Reducing the Tax Gap
GAO-05-753: Published: Jul 18, 2005. Publicly Released: Aug 17, 2005.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a gap arises each year between what taxpayers pay accurately and on time in taxes and what they should pay under the law. The tax gap is composed of underreporting of tax liabilities on tax returns, underpaying of taxes due from filed returns, and nonfiling of required tax returns altogether or on time. GAO was asked to provide information on (1) th...
Earned Income Tax Credit: Implementation of Three New Tests Proceeded Smoothly, But Tests and Evaluation Plans Were Not Fully Documented
GAO-05-92: Published: Dec 30, 2004. Publicly Released: Dec 30, 2004.
Research has shown that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has helped lift millions of individuals out of poverty. In recent years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has paid approximately $30 billion annually to about 20 million EITC recipients. However, the program also has experienced a high rate of noncompliance. IRS estimated that EITC overclaim rates for tax year 1999, the most recent data...
Tax Administration: IRS Should Take Steps to Improve the Accuracy of Schedule K-1 Data
GAO-04-1040: Published: Sep 30, 2004. Publicly Released: Nov 1, 2004.
Over a trillion dollars in income was distributed in tax year 2002 by flow-through entities, such as partnerships, subchapter S corporations, and trusts, to their partners, shareholders, or beneficiaries, respectively. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that from 6 to 15 percent of such income is unreported on individual tax returns. This income is reported to both IRS and to the recipie...
Tax Administration: IRS Should Reassess the Level of Resources for Testing Forms and Instructions
GAO-03-486: Published: Apr 11, 2003. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 2003.
Taxpayers rated the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) ability to provide clear and easy-to-use forms and instructions among the lowest of 27 indicators of service in 1993. Due to continuing concerns about unclear forms and instructions, GAO was asked to determine (1) whether and how often IRS tests the clarity of new and revised individual income tax forms and instructions; (2) the benefits, if an...
Internal Revenue Service: Assessment of Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Request and 2003 Filing Season Performance to Date
GAO-03-641T: Published: Apr 8, 2003. Publicly Released: Apr 8, 2003.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for collecting virtually all of the funds that pay for the federal government. For 2003, IRS expects to process 130 million individual income tax returns, issue 99 million refunds, receive 100 million telephone calls, and assist 4 million taxpayers face-to-face at IRS and volunteer offices. Most of these interactions with taxpayers occur during the...
Paid Tax Preparers: Most Taxpayers Believe They Benefit, but Some Are Poorly Served
GAO-03-610T: Published: Apr 1, 2003. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 2003.
In tax year 2000, over half of individual filers paid someone to prepare their tax return. These taxpayers paid an estimated $14.7 billion for individual return preparation. Despite the importance of paid preparers' role in the tax system, little data exist on the quality of the services they provide. In light of this, GAO surveyed and interviewed taxpayers and gathered examples of the range of ou...
Tax Administration: IRS Should Continue to Expand Reporting on Its Enforcement Efforts
GAO-03-378: Published: Jan 31, 2003. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2003.
Reported declines in the rate at which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits (also referred to as "examines") individual income tax returns have raised concerns that taxpayers may have a false perception of the true level of IRS's tax enforcement efforts. In addition, many observers are concerned these reported declines may reduce taxpayers' motivation to voluntarily pay their taxes. Because o...