Taxpayers (81 - 90 of 397 items)
Tax Policy: Tax-Exempt Status of Certain Bonds Merits Reconsideration, and Apparent Noncompliance with Issuance Cost Limitations Should Be Addressed
GAO-08-364: Published: Feb 15, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2008.
The outstanding amount of state and local government tax-exempt bonds has increased over the years. Congress is interested in whether the bonds are used for appropriate purposes since the federal government forgoes billions in tax revenues annually by excluding the bonds' interest from investors' federal gross income. Questions also exist over the bonds' borrowing costs as they can divert funds fr...
Tax Administration: Costs and Uses of Third-Party Information Returns
GAO-08-266: Published: Nov 20, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 20, 2007.
One proven approach for improving tax compliance is information reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by third parties about taxpayers' income and expenses. IRS matches information returns with taxpayers' income tax returns to see if taxpayers have filed returns and reported all their income. The administration's fiscal year 2008 budget proposed requiring information reporting on merchan...
Tax Administration: 2007 Filing Season Continues Trend of Improvement, but Opportunities to Reduce Costs and Increase Tax Compliance Should be Evaluated
GAO-08-38: Published: Nov 15, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 17, 2007.
In 2007, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will spend over $3 billion to process returns and provide taxpayer service. Effective service can reduce taxpayers' burden of complying with tax laws and, many tax experts believe, may improve compliance. GAO was asked to assess IRS's performance relative to 2007 goals and prior years' performance including identifying actions that might generate efficie...
Tax Administration: The Internal Revenue Service Can Improve Its Management of Paper Case Files
GAO-07-1160: Published: Sep 28, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 11, 2007.
Proper paper case file management is a significant issue for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) because its staff investigate and close millions of case files every year. In addition, IRS employees depend heavily on case files when pursuing enforcement actions. GAO was asked to review IRS's case file storage, tracking, and documentation processes to determine whether IRS has (1) an effective proce...
Tax Compliance: Inflation Has Significantly Decreased the Real Value of Some Penalties
GAO-07-1062: Published: Aug 23, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 2007.
Civil tax penalties are an important tool to encourage taxpayer compliance with the tax laws. A number of civil tax penalties have fixed dollar amounts--a specific dollar amount, a minimum or maximum amount--that are not indexed for inflation. Because of Congress's concerns that civil penalties are not effectively achieving their purposes, we agreed to (1) determine the potential effect of adjusti...
Tax Debt Collection: Measuring Taxpayer Opinions Regarding Private Collection Agencies
GAO-07-890T: Published: May 23, 2007. Publicly Released: May 23, 2007.
Every year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not collect tens of billions of dollars in delinquent taxes. In 2004, Congress authorized IRS to use private collection agencies (PCA) to help collect some of these debts. To ensure that taxpayers are treated properly and that the program achieves the desired results, IRS contracted with a consulting company to perform a survey of right party cont...
Internal Revenue Service: Assessment of the 2008 Budget Request and an Update of 2007 Performance
GAO-07-719T: Published: May 9, 2007. Publicly Released: May 9, 2007.
The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) budget request shows how IRS intends to balance spending for enforcement and taxpayer service, including spending for new initiatives and the Business Systems Modernization (BSM) program. A combination of enforcement and taxpayer service promotes compliance with the tax laws. GAO was asked to (1) compare IRS's proposed FY 2008 budget to prior years' and assess...
Tax Compliance: Challenges in Ensuring Offshore Tax Compliance
GAO-07-823T: Published: May 3, 2007. Publicly Released: May 3, 2007.
Offshore tax evasion is difficult for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to address. IRS examines tax returns to deal with offshore evasion that has occurred. IRS's Qualified Intermediary (QI) program seeks to foster improved tax withholding and reporting. GAO was asked to testify on two topics. First, GAO was asked to provide information on (1) the length of, and assessments from, IRS's examinati...
Tax Administration: Telephone Excise Tax Refund Requests Are Fewer Than Projected and Have Had Minimal Impact on IRS Services
GAO-07-695: Published: Apr 11, 2007. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 2007.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is implementing three tax system changes during the 2007 filing season that potentially could impact compliance by taxpayers as well as IRS's service to taxpayers. These changes are (1) the telephone excise tax refund (TETR), which can be requested by all individuals and entities that paid the excise tax regardless of whether they have an obligation to file a tax...
Taxpayer Advocate Service: Caseload Has Grown and Taxpayers Report Being Satisfied, but Additional Measures of Efficiency and Effectiveness Are Needed
GAO-07-156: Published: Feb 22, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 2007.
Congress created the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) to assist taxpayers in resolving problems with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to propose changes to IRS's practices to mitigate problems affecting taxpayers in general. TAS uses case advocacy and systemic advocacy, respectively, to address these two goals. GAO was asked to address (1) why TAS's caseload has increased since 2004, (2) how...