Internal controls (11 - 20 of 261 items) in Custom Date Range
Information Security: IRS Needs to Further Improve Controls over Taxpayer Data and Continue to Combat Identity Theft Refund Fraud
GAO-16-589T: Published: Apr 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 2016.
In March 2016, GAO reported that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had instituted numerous controls over key financial and tax processing systems; however, it had not always effectively implemented other controls intended to properly restrict access to systems and information, among other security measures. In particular, while IRS had improved some of its access controls, weaknesses remained in...
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...
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...
Fiscal Outlook: Addressing Improper Payments and the Tax Gap Would Improve the Government's Fiscal Position
GAO-16-92T: Published: Oct 1, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 1, 2015.
A number of strategies, including implementing preventive controls and addressing GAO's prior recommendations, can help agencies reduce improper payments, which have been a persistent, government-wide issue. The improper payment estimate, attributable to 124 programs across 22 agencies in fiscal year 2014, was $124.7 billion, up from $105.8 billion in fiscal year 2013. The almost $19 billion incre...
IRS Case Selection: Automated Collection System Lacks Key Internal Controls Needed to Ensure the Program Fulfills Its Mission
GAO-15-744: Published: Sep 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2015.
The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Automated Collection System (ACS) has a multistep, automated process to prioritize and select cases of unpaid taxes and unfiled tax returns to pursue. ACS assesses cases to determine the order to work cases based on IRS's collection program priorities, the likelihood the case will be resolved, and the type of tax and amount owed. ACS also reviews cases to deter...