Income taxes (71 - 80 of 216 items)
Compliance and Collection: Challenges for IRS in Reversing Trends and Implementing New Initiatives
GAO-03-732T: Published: May 7, 2003. Publicly Released: May 7, 2003.
Taxpayers' willingness to voluntarily comply with tax laws depends in part on their confidence that friends, neighbors, and business competitors are paying their fair share of taxes. The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) programs to ensure compliance and to collect delinquent taxes are viewed by many as critical for maintaining the public's confidence in our tax system. Congress asked GAO to presen...
Tax Administration: IRS Should Reassess the Level of Resources for Testing Forms and Instructions
GAO-03-486: Published: Apr 11, 2003. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 2003.
Taxpayers rated the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) ability to provide clear and easy-to-use forms and instructions among the lowest of 27 indicators of service in 1993. Due to continuing concerns about unclear forms and instructions, GAO was asked to determine (1) whether and how often IRS tests the clarity of new and revised individual income tax forms and instructions; (2) the benefits, if an...
Paid Tax Preparers: Most Taxpayers Believe They Benefit, but Some Are Poorly Served
GAO-03-610T: Published: Apr 1, 2003. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 2003.
In tax year 2000, over half of individual filers paid someone to prepare their tax return. These taxpayers paid an estimated $14.7 billion for individual return preparation. Despite the importance of paid preparers' role in the tax system, little data exist on the quality of the services they provide. In light of this, GAO surveyed and interviewed taxpayers and gathered examples of the range of ou...
Tax Administration: IRS Should Continue to Expand Reporting on Its Enforcement Efforts
GAO-03-378: Published: Jan 31, 2003. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2003.
Reported declines in the rate at which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits (also referred to as "examines") individual income tax returns have raised concerns that taxpayers may have a false perception of the true level of IRS's tax enforcement efforts. In addition, many observers are concerned these reported declines may reduce taxpayers' motivation to voluntarily pay their taxes. Because o...
Tax Administration: Advance Tax Refund Program Was a Major Accomplishment, but Not Problem Free
GAO-02-827: Published: Aug 2, 2002. Publicly Released: Aug 2, 2002.
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 replaced the 15-percent tax rate for individual taxpayers with a 10-percent rate. To stimulate the economy quickly, the act provided for an advance refund in 2001. Between July and December 2001, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), working with the Department of the Treasury's Financial Management Service (FMS), mailed out 86 million ad...
Tax Administration: New Compliance Research Effort Is on Track, but Important Work Remains
GAO-02-769: Published: Jun 27, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2002.
The U.S. tax system is based on taxpayers voluntarily complying with the tax laws. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last measured taxpayers' rate of compliance using 1988 tax returns. As time has passed, IRS has become concerned that its ability to understand the effectiveness of its programs and target audits on noncompliant returns has deteriorated, potentially resulting in poorer ser...
Internal Revenue Service: Efforts to Identify and Combat Abusive Tax Schemes Have Increased, but Challenges Remain
GAO-02-733: Published: May 22, 2002. Publicly Released: May 22, 2002.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) characterizes an abusive tax scheme as any plan or arrangement created and used to obtain tax benefits not allowable by law. According to IRS, abusive tax schemes fall into four categories: frivolous returns, frivolous refunds, abusive domestic trusts, and offshore schemes. IRS estimates the potential revenue loss from abusive tax schemes to be in the tens of bil...
Tax Administration: IRS's Innocent Spouse Program Performance Improved; Balanced Performance Measures Needed
GAO-02-558: Published: Apr 24, 2002. Publicly Released: May 16, 2002.
By law, married persons who file joint tax returns are each fully responsible for the accuracy of the tax return and for the full tax liability. This is true even though only one taxpayer may have earned the wages or income shown on the tax return. Under the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Innocent Spousal Program, IRS can relieve taxpayers of tax debts on the basis of equity considerations, such...
Internal Revenue Service: Enhanced Efforts to Combat Abusive Tax Schemes--Challenges Remain
GAO-02-618T: Published: Apr 11, 2002. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 2002.
Estimating the extent of abusive tax schemes used by individual taxpayers is difficult because they are often hidden. Nevertheless, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes that the number and dollar consequences of these schemes has grown recently. IRS estimates that 740,000 taxpayers used abusive schemes in tax year 2000. IRS caught $5 billion in improper tax avoidance or tax credit and refun...
Tax Administration: Electronic Filing's Past and Future Impact on Processing Costs Dependent on Several Factors
GAO-02-205: Published: Jan 10, 2002. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2002.
From fiscal years 1997 through 2000, the number of individual and business tax returns filed electronically increased from 23 million to 41 million. During the same period, the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) expenditures for submission processing grew from $795 million to $924 million, an increase of 16 percent. Because it costs less to process an electronic return than a paper return, a growth...