Tax administration (1 - 10 of 96 items)
Identity Theft and Tax Fraud: Enhanced Authentication Could Combat Refund Fraud, but IRS Lacks an Estimate of Costs, Benefits and Risks
GAO-15-119: Published: Jan 20, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 2015.
Identity Theft (IDT) Refund Fraud Cost Estimates. The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) fraud estimates met several GAO Cost Guide best practices, such as documenting data sources and detailing calculations. However, the estimates do not reflect the uncertainty inherent in measuring IDT refund fraud because they are presented as point estimates. Best practices suggest that agencies assess the effec...
IRS Correspondence Audits: Better Management Could Improve Tax Compliance and Reduce Taxpayer Burden
GAO-14-479: Published: Jun 5, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2014.
The notices the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sends during correspondence audits have misled taxpayers by providing unrealistic time frames on when IRS would respond to their correspondence. For example, notices stated that IRS would respond within 30 to 45 days when it has consistently taken several months to do so. Further, as of early 2014, IRS data show that it had not responded timely to mor...
Partnerships and S Corporations: IRS Needs to Improve Information to Address Tax Noncompliance
GAO-14-453: Published: May 14, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2014.
The full extent of partnership and S corporation income misreporting is unknown. The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) last study of S corporations, using 2003-2004 data, estimated that these entities annually misreported about 15 percent (an average of $55 billion for 2003 and 2004) of their income. IRS does not have a similar study for partnerships. Using IRS data and the study results, GAO deriv...
Identity Theft: Total Extent of Refund Fraud Using Stolen Identities is Unknown
GAO-13-132T: Published: Nov 29, 2012. Publicly Released: Nov 29, 2012.
Understanding the extent and nature of identity theft-related refund fraud is important to crafting a response to it, but Internal Revenue Service (IRS) managers recognize that they do not have a complete picture. Program officials said that one of the challenges they face in combating this type of fraud is its changing nature and how it is concealed. While perfect knowledge about cases and who is...
Adoption Tax Credit: IRS Can Reduce Audits and Refund Delays
GAO-12-98: Published: Oct 20, 2011. Publicly Released: Nov 21, 2011.
The federal adoption tax credit, established in 1996, was amended in 2010. These amendments included making the credit refundable (meaning taxpayers could receive payments in excess of their tax liability) and increasing the maximum allowable credit to $13,170 of qualified adoption expenses for tax year 2010. As of August 20, 2011, taxpayers filed just under 100,000 returns, claiming about $1.2 bi...
Financial Derivatives: Disparate Tax Treatment and Information Gaps Create Uncertainty and Potential Abuse
GAO-11-750: Published: Sep 20, 2011. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 2011.
Recently, concerns have arisen about the use of certain financial derivatives to avoid or evade tax obligations. As requested, this report (1) identifies and evaluates how financial derivatives can be used to avoid or evade tax liability or achieve differing tax results in economically similar situations, (2) evaluates Internal Revenue Service (IRS) actions to address the tax effects of investment...
Value-Added Taxes: Potential Lessons for the United States from Other Countries' Experiences
GAO-11-867T: Published: Jul 26, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2011.
Dissatisfaction with the federal tax system has led to a debate about U.S. tax reform, including proposals for a national consumption tax. One type of proposed consumption tax is a value-added tax (VAT), widely used around the world. A VAT is levied on the difference between a business's sales and its purchases of goods and services. Typically, a business calculates the tax due on its sales, subtr...
Tax Gap: Complexity and Taxpayer Compliance
GAO-11-747T: Published: Jun 28, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 2011.
Taxes are necessary because they fund the services provided by government. Several years ago, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimated that the gross tax gap--the difference between taxes owed and taxes paid on time--was $345 billion for 2001. In the face of large and growing deficits, it is important to seek out potential causes and solutions to the tax gap. Achieving high levels of voluntary...
Financial Audit: IRS's Fiscal Years 2010 and 2009 Financial Statements
GAO-11-142: Published: Nov 10, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 2010.
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 Gap: IRS Has Modernized Its Business Nonfiler Program but Could Benefit from More Evaluation and Use of Third-Party Data
GAO-10-950: Published: Aug 31, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 2010.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not know how many businesses failed to file required returns, nor does it have an estimate of the associated lost tax revenue--the business nonfiling tax gap. Many cases it does investigate are unproductive because the business does not owe the return IRS expects. GAO was asked to assess (1) the data challenges of estimating the business nonfiler tax gap, (2...