Tax law (21 - 30 of 311 items)
Federal Tax Collection: Potential for Using Passport Issuance to Increase Collection of Unpaid Taxes
GAO-11-272: Published: Mar 10, 2011. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 2011.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as of the end of fiscal year 2010, the balance of reported unpaid federal taxes was about $330 billion. Given the many challenges that IRS faces, the enforcement of the tax laws and the tax code is on GAO's list of high-risk areas. GAO was asked to (1) determine, to the extent possible, the magnitude of known unpaid federal taxes for individuals who...
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...
2011 Tax Filing: IRS Dealt with Challenges to Date but Needs Additional Authority to Verify Compliance
GAO-11-481: Published: Mar 29, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2011.
Every tax filing season is a large-scale undertaking during which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) interacts with taxpayers by processing returns, issuing refunds, answering telephone calls, and providing other services, both face-to-face and on its Web site. As part of processing returns and before refunds are issued, IRS uses its statutory authority to automatically correct errors. This allows...
Tax Compliance: IRS May Be Able to Improve Compliance for Nonresident Aliens and Updating Requirements Could Reduce Their Compliance Burden
GAO-10-429: Published: Apr 14, 2010. Publicly Released: May 14, 2010.
For tax year 2007, nonresident alien individuals filed about 634,000 Forms 1040NR, the U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return. IRS has not developed estimates for the extent of nonresident alien tax noncompliance because it often lacks information to distinguish between nonresident aliens and other filers, and examinations can be costly and difficult since many nonresident aliens would depart th...
Tax Administration: IRS Should Evaluate Penalties and Develop a Plan to Focus Its Efforts
GAO-09-567: Published: Jun 5, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 2009.
Civil tax penalties are an important tool for encouraging compliance with tax laws. It is important that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) administers penalties properly and determines the effectiveness of penalties in encouraging compliance. In response to a congressional request, GAO determined (1) whether IRS is evaluating penalties in a manner that supports sound penalty administration and vo...
Tax Gap: Requiring Information Reporting for Charitable Cash Contributions May Not Be an Effective Way to Improve Compliance
GAO-09-555: Published: May 14, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2009.
Individual taxpayers who misreport charitable cash contributions they deduct on their tax returns contribute to the tax gap, the difference between tax amounts taxpayers report and pay voluntarily and on time and the amounts they should pay under the law. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) most recently estimated a gross tax gap of $345 billion for tax year 2001. One approach that tends to result...
Real Estate Tax Deduction: Taxpayers Face Challenges in Determining What Qualifies; Better Information Could Improve Compliance
GAO-09-521: Published: May 13, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 2009.
The Joint Committee on Taxation identified improved taxpayer compliance with the real-estate tax deduction as a way to reduce the federal tax gap--the difference between taxes owed and taxes voluntarily and timely paid. Regarding the deduction, GAO was asked to examine (1) factors that contribute to taxpayers including nondeductible charges, (2) the extent that taxpayers may be claiming such charg...
Tax Administration: Interim Results of IRS's 2009 Filing Season
GAO-09-640: Published: Jun 3, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 2009.
Every tax filing season, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must quickly and accurately process Americans' tax returns, issue refunds, and answer taxpayers' questions. The 2009 filing season, when 2008 tax returns are filed, was especially challenging because of stimulus-related tax law changes and IRS's expanded assistance to financially distressed taxpayers, such as adding flexibility for taxpay...
Internal Revenue Service: Review of the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Request
GAO-09-754: Published: Jun 3, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 2009.
The financing of the federal government depends largely on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) ability to administer the tax laws, which includes providing service to taxpayers and enforcing the law so that individuals and businesses pay the taxes they owe. The President's fiscal year 2010 budget request details how IRS intends to allocate its resources to achieve these goals while also continuin...
Tax Administration: Many Taxpayers Rely on Tax Software and IRS Needs to Assess Associated Risks
GAO-09-297: Published: Feb 25, 2009. Publicly Released: Apr 2, 2009.
Individual taxpayers used commercial tax software to prepare over 39 million tax returns in 2007, making it critical to the tax administration system. The majority were then filed electronically, resulting in fewer errors and reduced processing costs compared to paper returns. GAO was asked to assess what is known about how pricing of tax software influences electronic filing, the extent to which...