Taxpayers (21 - 30 of 172 items)
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...
Tax Administration: IRS's 2008 Filing Season Generally Successful Despite Challenges, although IRS Could Expand Enforcement during Returns Processing
GAO-09-146: Published: Dec 12, 2008. Publicly Released: Jan 12, 2009.
The tax filing season is when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has most of its contacts with taxpayers, answering questions and processing returns and refunds. The 2008 filing season was particularly challenging due to the unanticipated mandate to make economic stimulus payments. The filing season is also the start of IRS's efforts to ensure the newly filed returns are compliant with the tax law...
Financial Audit: IRS's Fiscal Years 2008 and 2007 Financial Statements
GAO-09-119: Published: Nov 10, 2008. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 2008.
Because of the significance of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collections to overall federal receipts and, in turn, to the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government, which GAO is required to audit, and Congress's interest in financial management at IRS, GAO audits IRS's financial statements annually to determine whether (1) the financial statements are fairly stated, and (2) IRS man...
Tax Gap: Actions That Could Improve Rental Real Estate Reporting Compliance
GAO-08-956: Published: Aug 28, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 2008.
As part of its most recent estimate of the tax gap, for tax year 2001, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimated that individuals underreported taxes related to their rental real estate activities by as much as $13 billion. Given the magnitude of underreporting, even small improvements in taxpayer compliance could result in substantial revenue. GAO was asked to provide information on rental rea...
Tax Preparers: Oregon's Regulatory Regime May Lead to Improved Federal Tax Return Accuracy and Provides a Possible Model for National Regulation
GAO-08-781: Published: Aug 15, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 2008.
Millions of taxpayers use paid tax return preparers and many of these paid preparers are not subject to any qualification requirements. Paid preparers in California and Oregon are exceptions in that these states have set paid preparer qualification standards. Additionally, two bills before Congress would require national paid preparer regulations. To help Congress better understand the potential c...