Tax law (1 - 10 of 311 items)
International Taxation: Information on the Potential Impact on IRS and U.S. Multinationals of Revised International Guidance on Transfer Pricing
GAO-17-103: Published: Jan 27, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 2017.
In 2015, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) issued revised guidelines, including 15 actions to help reduce base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) of multinational enterprises (MNEs). One action focuses on transfer pricing guidance with the intent of aligning MNE profits with the location of economic activity, and preventing corporations from shifting and assigning p...
Regulatory Guidance Processes: Treasury and OMB Need to Reevaluate Long-standing Exemptions of Tax Regulations and Guidance
GAO-16-720: Published: Sep 6, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 2016.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses a variety of documents to communicate its interpretation of tax laws to the public, but only considers Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB) guidance to be authoritative. IRS information published outside of the IRB can help taxpayers understand tax laws and make informed decisions, but does not always include information clarifying the limitations of its use. IRS...
Inland Waterways Fuel Tax: Additional Data Could Enhance IRS's Efforts to Ensure Taxpayer Compliance
GAO-16-682: Published: Jul 29, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2016.
Based on results of audits, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) views vessel operators to be substantially in compliance with requirements to report and pay the Inland Waterways Fuel Tax (fuel tax). IRS seeks to ensure compliance by auditing quarterly excise-tax returns filed by these operators, as well as identifying operators that failed to file (nonfilers).Audits of filed returns: IRS data show...
2015 Tax Filing Season: Deteriorating Taxpayer Service Underscores Need for a Comprehensive Strategy and Process Efficiencies
GAO-16-151: Published: Dec 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 2016.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided the lowest level of telephone service during fiscal year 2015 compared to prior years, with only 38 percent of callers who wanted to speak with an IRS assistor able to reach one. This lower level of service occurred despite lower demand from callers seeking live assistance, which has fallen by 6 percent since 2010 to about 51 million callers in 2015. Ove...
IRS Return Selection: Certain Internal Controls for Audits in the Small Business and Self-Employed Division Should Be Strengthened
GAO-16-103: Published: Dec 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 2016.
The Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE) division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses over 30 methods, called workstreams, to identify and review tax returns that may merit an audit. These returns were initially identified through seven sources which include referrals; computer programs that run filters, rules, or algorithms to identify potentially noncompliant taxpayers; and related return...
IRS Return Selection: Wage and Investment Division Should Define Audit Objectives and Refine Other Internal Controls
GAO-16-102: Published: Dec 17, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 2016.
Three offices in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Wage and Investment division (W&I) are responsible for selecting returns for audit. Most returns are selected via computer systems that automatically send notices to taxpayers based on certain criteria, such as the validity of dependents. W&I program officials annually review the criteria and apply updates to the following filing season's retur...
Electronic Cigarettes: Effect on Federal Excise Taxes Collected on Traditional Cigarettes Is Not Currently Evident
GAO-15-771: Published: Sep 14, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2015.
GAO's analysis found no evidence that use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) has affected federal excise tax (FET) revenue from traditional cigarettes, which has been declining over time (see figure). Possible reasons for the lack of a detectable effect include the small size of the e-cigarette market (estimated at $2.5 billion in 2014) relative to the cigarette market ($80 billion in the sam...
IRS Case Selection: Automated Collection System Lacks Key Internal Controls Needed to Ensure the Program Fulfills Its Mission
GAO-15-744: Published: Sep 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2015.
The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Automated Collection System (ACS) has a multistep, automated process to prioritize and select cases of unpaid taxes and unfiled tax returns to pursue. ACS assesses cases to determine the order to work cases based on IRS's collection program priorities, the likelihood the case will be resolved, and the type of tax and amount owed. ACS also reviews cases to deter...
IRS Examination Selection: IRS Should Strengthen Internal Controls for Exempt Organization Selection
GAO-15-753T: Published: Jul 23, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2015.
The Exempt Organizations (EO) unit within the Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) division at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reviews organizations' applications for tax-exempt status to determine whether to grant status and oversees existing exempt organizations' compliance with the tax code. To identify exempt organizations for possible examination, EO uses a variety of information sou...
Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: Joint IRS-HUD Administration Could Help Address Weaknesses in Oversight
GAO-15-330: Published: Jul 15, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2015.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) oversight of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program has been minimal. Specifically, since 1986 IRS conducted seven audits of 56 state housing finance agencies (HFA) on which IRS relies to administer and oversee the program. (HFAs are state-chartered authorities established to meet affordable housing needs.) Federal internal control standards call for monit...