Taxes (11 - 20 of 55 items)
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...
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...
Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions: IRS Needs Better Data to Inform Decisions about Transactions
GAO-11-493: Published: May 12, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2011.
Abusive tax avoidance transactions (ATAT) range from frivolous tax schemes to highly technical and abusive tax shelters marketed to taxpayers by promoters selling tax advice. ATATs threaten the U.S. tax system's integrity if honest taxpayers believe that others do not pay their fair share of taxes. GAO was asked to (1) describe what is known about trends in ATAT usage; (2) describe results of IRS'...
Tax Compliance: IRS May Be Able to Improve Compliance for Nonresident Aliens and Updating Requirements Could Reduce Their Compliance Burden
GAO-10-429: Published: Apr 14, 2010. Publicly Released: May 14, 2010.
For tax year 2007, nonresident alien individuals filed about 634,000 Forms 1040NR, the U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return. IRS has not developed estimates for the extent of nonresident alien tax noncompliance because it often lacks information to distinguish between nonresident aliens and other filers, and examinations can be costly and difficult since many nonresident aliens would depart th...
Tax Gap: Actions Needed to Address Noncompliance with S Corporation Tax Rules
GAO-10-195: Published: Dec 15, 2009. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 2010.
S corporations are one of the fastest growing business types, accounting for nearly 4 million businesses in 2006. However, long-standing problems with S corporation compliance produce revenue losses in individual income taxes and employment taxes. GAO was asked to (1) describe the reasons businesses choose to become S corporations, (2) analyze types of S corporation noncompliance, what IRS has don...
Home Mortgage Interest Deduction: Despite Challenges Presented by Complex Tax Rules, IRS Could Enhance Enforcement and Guidance
GAO-09-769: Published: Jul 29, 2009. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 2009.
The home mortgage interest deduction is the third most expensive federal income tax expenditure, with the government expected to forgo about $80 billion of revenue for the deduction in 2009.1 Subject to various limitations, taxpayers may deduct interest on home-secured loans, such as mortgages, mortgage refinancings, and home equity loans, including those taken as lump sum amounts and home equity...
Internal Revenue Service: Review of the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Request
GAO-09-754: Published: Jun 3, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 2009.
The financing of the federal government depends largely on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) ability to administer the tax laws, which includes providing service to taxpayers and enforcing the law so that individuals and businesses pay the taxes they owe. The President's fiscal year 2010 budget request details how IRS intends to allocate its resources to achieve these goals while also continuin...
Tax Gap: Actions That Could Improve Rental Real Estate Reporting Compliance
GAO-08-956: Published: Aug 28, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 2008.
As part of its most recent estimate of the tax gap, for tax year 2001, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimated that individuals underreported taxes related to their rental real estate activities by as much as $13 billion. Given the magnitude of underreporting, even small improvements in taxpayer compliance could result in substantial revenue. GAO was asked to provide information on rental rea...
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...
Cayman Islands: Business Advantages and Tax Minimization Attract U.S. Persons and Enforcement Challenges Exist
GAO-08-779T: Published: Jul 24, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 24, 2008.
The Cayman Islands is a major offshore financial center and the registered home of thousands of corporations and financial entities. Financial activity there is in the trillions of dollars annually. One Cayman building--Ugland House--has been the subject of public attention as the listed address of thousands of companies. To help Congress better understand the nature of U.S. persons' business acti...