Income taxes (11 - 20 of 188 items)
Corporate Income Tax: Effective Tax Rates Can Differ Significantly from the Statutory Rate
GAO-13-520: Published: May 30, 2013. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 2013.
Effective tax rates (ETR) differ from statutory tax rates in that they attempt to measure taxes paid as a proportion of economic income, while statutory rates indicate the amount of tax liability (before any credits) relative to taxable income, which is defined by tax law and reflects tax benefits and subsidies built into the law. Lacking access to detailed data from tax returns, most researchers...
Tax Refunds: IRS Is Exploring Verification Improvements, but Needs to Better Manage Risks
GAO-13-515: Published: Jun 4, 2013. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 2013.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) receives few information returns before issuing most tax refunds. In 2012, IRS issued 50 percent of tax year 2011 refunds to individuals by the end of February, but had only received 3 percent of information returns. Most information returns are not received by IRS until after mid-April, and IRS conducts the first match of tax and information returns in July, wit...
Tax Administration: IRS Could Improve Examinations by Adopting Certain Research Program Practices
GAO-13-480: Published: May 24, 2013. Publicly Released: May 24, 2013.
The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) National Research Program (NRP) has helped test or develop practices that have been used in operational examinations of individual tax returns, according to IRS officials. These practices include, for example, helping test IRS's remote learning system and helping IRS adopt new examination support software.However, examiners GAO interviewed cited four additional...
Offshore Tax Evasion: IRS Has Collected Billions of Dollars, but May be Missing Continued Evasion
GAO-13-318: Published: Mar 27, 2013. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 2013.
As of December 2012, the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) four offshore programs have resulted in more than 39,000 disclosures by taxpayers and over $5.5 billion in revenues. The offshore programs attract taxpayers by offering a reduced risk of criminal prosecution and lower penalties than if the unreported income was discovered by one of IRS's other enforcement programs. For the 2009 Offshore Vol...
Internal Revenue Service: 2013 Tax Filing Season Performance to Date and Budget Data
GAO-13-541R: Published: Apr 15, 2013. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 2013.
In summary, so far in the 2013 filing season, GAO found the following:Despite a late start due to tax law changes, IRS and stakeholders reported relatively smooth operations. Although the number of tax returns received and refunds issued was lower in the beginning of the filing season than last year, by the end of March these gaps had closed considerably.Overall, the percentage of callers who soug...
2012 Tax Filing: IRS Faces Challenges Providing Service to Taxpayers and Could Collect Balances Due More Effectively
GAO-13-156: Published: Dec 18, 2012. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2013.
While there have been efficiency gains and efforts to improve service, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) faced challenges providing telephone service and responding to correspondence, continuing trends experienced in recent years. In 2012, 82 percent of individual taxpayers filed their returns electronically (e-filed), reducing IRS's processing costs. IRS also increased calls answered using autom...
Tax Gap: IRS Could Significantly Increase Revenues by Better Targeting Enforcement Resources
GAO-13-151: Published: Dec 5, 2012. Publicly Released: Jan 4, 2013.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) spends most of its enforcement resources on examinations. Correspondence exams of individual tax returns, which target fewer and simpler compliance issues, are significantly less costly on average than the broader and more complex field exams. GAO estimated that the average cost (including overhead) of correspondence exams opened in 2007 and 2008 was $274, compar...
Identity Theft: Total Extent of Refund Fraud Using Stolen Identities is Unknown
GAO-13-132T: Published: Nov 29, 2012. Publicly Released: Nov 29, 2012.
Understanding the extent and nature of identity theft-related refund fraud is important to crafting a response to it, but Internal Revenue Service (IRS) managers recognize that they do not have a complete picture. Program officials said that one of the challenges they face in combating this type of fraud is its changing nature and how it is concealed. While perfect knowledge about cases and who is...
2011 Tax Filing: Processing Gains, but Taxpayer Assistance Could Be Enhanced by More Self-Service Tools
GAO-12-176: Published: Dec 15, 2011. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2012.
During the 2011 filing season the following occurred:Electronic filing (e-filing) increased to nearly 80 percent of the 140 million individual returns filed. The benefits of e-filing include that it is more accurate, faster, and less expensive for IRS than processing returns filed on paper.Due to the increase in e-filing, new systems, and IRS's performance in recent years, its refund timeliness me...
Adoption Tax Credit: IRS Can Reduce Audits and Refund Delays
GAO-12-98: Published: Oct 20, 2011. Publicly Released: Nov 21, 2011.
The federal adoption tax credit, established in 1996, was amended in 2010. These amendments included making the credit refundable (meaning taxpayers could receive payments in excess of their tax liability) and increasing the maximum allowable credit to $13,170 of qualified adoption expenses for tax year 2010. As of August 20, 2011, taxpayers filed just under 100,000 returns, claiming about $1.2 bi...