Income taxes (21 - 30 of 70 items)
Tax Administration: Possible Implications of Expanding Refund Offset Provisions
GAO-09-571R: Published: May 7, 2009. Publicly Released: May 7, 2009.
Millions of federal taxpayers receive billions of dollars in income tax refunds every year. Many of these refunds are paid to taxpayers who owe money to the federal government or to their state or local government. The law allows certain types of debts to be collected through offsets of federal income tax refunds before payments are issued to taxpayers--in calendar year 2008, over $5 billion was d...
Tax Compliance: Offshore Financial Activity Creates Enforcement Issues for IRS
GAO-09-478T: Published: Mar 17, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2009.
Much offshore financial activity by individual U.S. taxpayers is not illegal, but numerous schemes have been devised to hide the true ownership of funds held offshore and income moving between the United States and offshore jurisdictions. In recent years, GAO has reported on several aspects of offshore financial activity and the tax compliance and tax administration challenges such activity raises...
Tax Gap: IRS Could Do More to Promote Compliance by Third Parties with Miscellaneous Income Reporting Requirements
GAO-09-238: Published: Jan 28, 2009. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2009.
Third party payers, often businesses, reported $6 trillion in miscellaneous income payments to IRS in tax year 2006 on Form 1099- MISC information returns. Payees are to report this income on their tax returns. Even a small share of payers failing to submit 1099-MISCs could result in billions of dollars of unreported payments. IRS data suggest that payees are more likely to report income on their...
Financial Audit: IRS's Fiscal Years 2008 and 2007 Financial Statements
GAO-09-119: Published: Nov 10, 2008. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 2008.
Because of the significance of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collections to overall federal receipts and, in turn, to the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government, which GAO is required to audit, and Congress's interest in financial management at IRS, GAO audits IRS's financial statements annually to determine whether (1) the financial statements are fairly stated, and (2) IRS man...
Tax Administration: Comparison of the Reported Tax Liabilities of Foreign- and U.S.-Controlled Corporations, 1998-2005
GAO-08-957: Published: Jul 24, 2008. Publicly Released: Aug 12, 2008.
Concerns about transfer pricing abuse have led researchers to compare the tax liabilities of foreign- and U.S.-controlled corporations. (Transfer prices are the prices related companies charge on intercompany transactions.) However, such comparisons are complicated because other factors may explain the differences in reported tax liabilities. In three prior reports, GAO found differences in the pe...
Highlights of the Joint Forum on Tax Compliance: Options for Improvement and Their Budgetary Potential
GAO-08-703SP: Published: Jun 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2008.
The tax gap--the difference between the tax amounts taxpayers pay voluntarily and on time and what they should pay under the law--has been a long-standing problem in spite of many efforts to reduce it. When some taxpayers fail to comply, the burden of funding the nation's commitments falls more heavily on compliant taxpayers. reducing the tax gap would help improve the nation's fiscal stability. F...
Tax Administration: Costs and Uses of Third-Party Information Returns
GAO-08-266: Published: Nov 20, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 20, 2007.
One proven approach for improving tax compliance is information reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by third parties about taxpayers' income and expenses. IRS matches information returns with taxpayers' income tax returns to see if taxpayers have filed returns and reported all their income. The administration's fiscal year 2008 budget proposed requiring information reporting on merchan...
Advance Earned Income Tax Credit: Low Use and Small Dollars Paid Impede IRS's Efforts to Reduce High Noncompliance
GAO-07-1110: Published: Aug 10, 2007. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 2007.
The Advance Earned Income Tax Credit (AEITC) allows individuals to receive a portion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in their paychecks, instead of receiving all of it when filing their year-end tax return. Limited research has been conducted on the AEITC since GAO last examined it in the early 1990s. GAO was asked to determine (1) how many individuals received the AEITC compared with the E...
Tax Gap: A Strategy for Reducing the Gap Should Include Options for Addressing Sole Proprietor Noncompliance
GAO-07-1014: Published: Jul 13, 2007. Publicly Released: Aug 13, 2007.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that $68 billion of the annual $345 billion gross tax gap for 2001 was due to sole proprietors, who own unincorporated businesses by themselves, underreporting their net income by 57 percent. A key reason for this underreporting is well known. Unlike wage and some investment income, sole proprietors' income is not subject to withholding and only a porti...
Taxpayer Advocate Service: Caseload Has Grown and Taxpayers Report Being Satisfied, but Additional Measures of Efficiency and Effectiveness Are Needed
GAO-07-156: Published: Feb 22, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 2007.
Congress created the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) to assist taxpayers in resolving problems with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to propose changes to IRS's practices to mitigate problems affecting taxpayers in general. TAS uses case advocacy and systemic advocacy, respectively, to address these two goals. GAO was asked to address (1) why TAS's caseload has increased since 2004, (2) how...