Income taxes (11 - 20 of 216 items)
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...
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...
Tax Administration: Preliminary Information on Selected Foreign Practices That May Provide Useful Insights
GAO-11-540T: Published: Apr 12, 2011. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 2011.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and foreign tax administrators face similar issues regardless of the particular provisions of their laws. These issues include, for example, helping taxpayers prepare and file returns, and assuring tax compliance. GAO was asked to describe (1) how foreign tax administrators have approached issues that are similar to those in the U.S. tax system and (2) whether an...
2011 Tax Filing: IRS Dealt with Challenges to Date but Needs Additional Authority to Verify Compliance
GAO-11-481: Published: Mar 29, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2011.
Every tax filing season is a large-scale undertaking during which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) interacts with taxpayers by processing returns, issuing refunds, answering telephone calls, and providing other services, both face-to-face and on its Web site. As part of processing returns and before refunds are issued, IRS uses its statutory authority to automatically correct errors. This allows...
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...
Recovery Act: IRS Quickly Implemented Tax Provisions, but Reporting and Enforcement Improvements Are Needed
GAO-10-349: Published: Feb 10, 2010. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2010.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), was enacted to bolster the struggling U.S. economy at an estimated cost of $787 billion, of which more than a third was in the form of tax relief to the public. This report (1) describes the status of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) implementation of Recovery Act tax provisions; (2) examines whether IRS captured or planned to...
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...
Tax Administration: Opportunities Exist for IRS to Enhance Taxpayer Service and Enforcement for the 2010 Filing Season
GAO-09-1026: Published: Sep 23, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 2009.
Preparing for the tax filing season is a significant undertaking for Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The filing season is when most individuals file their tax returns, receive refunds, and contact IRS if they have questions. As returns are received, IRS begins a series of automated compliance checks to correct errors on tax returns and ensure that refunds are justified. For example, IRS rejects el...