Income taxes (51 - 60 of 216 items)
Tax Compliance: Opportunities Exist to Reduce the Tax Gap Using a Variety of Approaches
GAO-06-1000T: Published: Jul 26, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2006.
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. Most recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimated a gross tax gap for tax year 2001 of $345 billion and estimated it would recover $55 billion of this gap, resulting in a net tax gap of $2...
Tax Compliance: Challenges to Corporate Tax Enforcement and Options to Improve Securities Basis Reporting
GAO-06-851T: Published: Jun 13, 2006. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2006.
Corporate income taxes are expected to bring in about $277 billion in 2006 to help fund the activities of the federal government. Besides raising revenue, the tax alters investment decisions and raises concerns about competitiveness in an environment of increasing global interdependency. The complexity of the tax breeds tax avoidance, including an estimated $32 billion of noncompliance detected by...
IRS Offers in Compromise: Performance Has Been Mixed; Better Management Information and Simplification Could Improve the Program
GAO-06-525: Published: Apr 20, 2006. Publicly Released: May 23, 2006.
Taxpayers unable to fully pay their tax liabilities may apply for an offer in compromise (OIC), an agreement with IRS to pay what they can afford. IRS writes off the rest of the liability. In 2005, IRS accepted over 14,000 offers. Because of concerns about program performance and a new category of offers based on exceptional circumstances, GAO was asked to (1) describe the trends in program's perf...
Tax Administration: Opportunities to Improve Compliance Decisions and Service to Taxpayers through Enhancements to Appeals' Feedback Project
GAO-06-396: Published: Mar 24, 2006. Publicly Released: Apr 18, 2006.
Taxpayers disagreeing with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) compliance decisions can request an independent review by IRS's Appeals Office (Appeals). In 2004 the Commissioner requested that Appeals establish a feedback program to share the results of Appeals' reviews with the compliance programs. GAO was asked to assess whether (1) information on Appeals results would provide useful feedback to IRS...
Paid Tax Return Preparers: In a Limited Study, Chain Preparers Made Serious Errors
GAO-06-563T: Published: Apr 4, 2006. Publicly Released: Apr 4, 2006.
Despite the importance of paid tax return preparers in helping taxpayers fulfill their obligations, little data exist on the quality of services they provide. Paid preparers include, for example, enrolled agents, who are approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) once they pass an examination on tax matters or demonstrate past IRS employment experience, and unenrolled preparers, who include se...
Tax Gap: Making Significant Progress in Improving Tax Compliance Rests on Enhancing Current IRS Techniques and Adopting New Legislative Actions
GAO-06-453T: Published: Feb 15, 2006. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2006.
The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) most recent estimate of the difference between what taxpayers timely and accurately paid in taxes and what they owed was $345 billion. IRS estimates it will eventually recover some of this tax gap, resulting in an estimated net tax gap of $290 billion. The tax gap arises when taxpayers fail to comply with the tax laws by underreporting tax liabilities on tax re...
Tax Administration: IRS Improved Some Filing Season Services, but Long-term Goals Would Help Manage Strategic Trade-offs
GAO-06-51: Published: Nov 14, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 14, 2005.
During the filing season, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) processes about 130 million individual tax returns, issues refunds, and responds to millions of inquiries. Budget cuts combined with IRS's strategy of shifting resources from taxpayer service to enforcement make providing quality service a challenge. GAO was asked to assess IRS's 2005 filing season performance compared to past years and...
Tax Gap: Multiple Strategies, Better Compliance Data, and Long-Term Goals Are Needed to Improve Taxpayer Compliance
GAO-06-208T: Published: Oct 26, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 2005.
Long-term budget simulations by GAO and others show that we face large and growing structural deficits due primarily to known demographic trends and rising health care costs. Reducing the annual tax gap--the difference between what taxpayers timely and accurately pay in taxes and what they should pay under the law--could help the nation cope with these long-term fiscal challenges. The tax gap aris...
Tax Administration: Systematic Information Sharing Would Help IRS Determine the Deductibility of Civil Settlement Payments
GAO-05-747: Published: Sep 15, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 18, 2005.
Although some civil settlement payments are deductible, their deterrence factor could be lessened if companies can deduct certain settlement payments from their income taxes. GAO was asked to (1) identify federal agencies that negotiated some of the largest dollar civil settlements, (2) determine whether selected federal agencies take tax consequences into account when negotiating settlements and...
Understanding the Tax Reform Debate: Background, Criteria, and Questions
GAO-05-1009SP: Published: Sep 1, 2005. Publicly Released: Sep 1, 2005.
Taxes are necessary because they fund the services provided by government. In 2005, Americans will pay about $2.1 trillion in combined federal taxes, including income, payroll, and excise taxes, or about 16.8 percent of gross domestic product. Beyond funding government, the federal tax system has profound effects on the economy as a whole and on individual taxpayers, both for today and tomorrow. T...