Voluntary compliance (11 - 20 of 111 items)
Tax Preparer Regulation: Improving Tax Return Accuracy Depends on IRS's Use of New Requirements
GAO-11-868T: Published: Jul 28, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2011.
Paid preparers are a cornerstone of the U.S. tax system, as they prepare approximately 60 percent of all tax returns filed, and their actions have an enormous impact on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) ability to administer tax laws effectively. In previous work, GAO found that taxpayers were not always served well by their paid preparers, and GAO proposed stricter oversight of preparers. In 2...
Value-Added Taxes: Potential Lessons for the United States from Other Countries' Experiences
GAO-11-867T: Published: Jul 26, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2011.
Dissatisfaction with the federal tax system has led to a debate about U.S. tax reform, including proposals for a national consumption tax. One type of proposed consumption tax is a value-added tax (VAT), widely used around the world. A VAT is levied on the difference between a business's sales and its purchases of goods and services. Typically, a business calculates the tax due on its sales, subtr...
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...
Taxes and Identity Theft: Status of IRS Initiatives to Help Victimized Taxpayers
GAO-11-674T: Published: May 25, 2011. Publicly Released: May 25, 2011.
Identity theft is a serious and growing problem in the United States. Taxpayers are harmed when identity thieves file fraudulent tax documents using stolen names and Social Security numbers. In 2010 alone, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) identified over 245,000 identity theft incidents that affected the tax system. The hundreds of thousands of taxpayers with tax problems caused by identity thef...
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...
Tax Preparer Regulation: IRS Needs a Documented Framework to Achieve Goal of Improving Taxpayer Compliance
GAO-11-336: Published: Mar 31, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2011.
Paid preparers prepare about 60 percent of all tax returns filed, and their actions significantly affect the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) ability to administer tax laws. Previously, GAO found that some preparers made significant errors in preparing tax returns and proposed stricter regulation of preparers. IRS is implementing new requirements for paid preparers that it believes will increase t...
Social Security Administration: Management Oversight Needed to Ensure Accurate Treatment of State and Local Government Employees
GAO-10-938: Published: Sep 29, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 4, 2010.
In 2007, 73 percent of state and local government employees were covered by Social Security. Unlike the private sector where most employees are covered by Social Security, federal law generally permits each public employer to decide which employees to cover. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for facilitating Social Security coverage for these employers through agreements with...
Internal Revenue Service: Assessment of Budget Justification for Fiscal Year 2011 Identified Opportunities to Enhance Transparency
GAO-10-687R: Published: May 26, 2010. Publicly Released: May 26, 2010.
The financing of the federal government depends importantly on the effectiveness of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) ability to administer the tax laws, including achieving its goals of providing taxpayer services to make voluntary compliance easier and enforcing tax laws to ensure everyone meets their obligations to pay taxes. The President requested $12.6 billion to fund IRS's fiscal year (F...
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...