Personal income taxes (21 - 30 of 67 items)
Tax Gap: IRS Could Do More to Promote Compliance by Third Parties with Miscellaneous Income Reporting Requirements
GAO-09-238: Published: Jan 28, 2009. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2009.
Third party payers, often businesses, reported $6 trillion in miscellaneous income payments to IRS in tax year 2006 on Form 1099- MISC information returns. Payees are to report this income on their tax returns. Even a small share of payers failing to submit 1099-MISCs could result in billions of dollars of unreported payments. IRS data suggest that payees are more likely to report income on their...
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...
Tax Administration: IRS Needs to Strengthen Its Approach for Evaluating the SRFMI Data-Sharing Pilot Program
GAO-09-45: Published: Nov 7, 2008. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 2008.
The State Reverse File Match Initiative (SRFMI) is one of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) data-sharing strategies to reduce the estimated $345 billion gross federal tax gap. SRFMI matches federal and state taxpayer data to identify noncompliant taxpayers--individuals and businesses who do not file tax returns or do not report all of their income. IRS's document-matching program has proven to...
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...
Highlights of the Joint Forum on Tax Compliance: Options for Improvement and Their Budgetary Potential
GAO-08-703SP: Published: Jun 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2008.
The tax gap--the difference between the tax amounts taxpayers pay voluntarily and on time and what they should pay under the law--has been a long-standing problem in spite of many efforts to reduce it. When some taxpayers fail to comply, the burden of funding the nation's commitments falls more heavily on compliant taxpayers. reducing the tax gap would help improve the nation's fiscal stability. F...
Refund Anticipation Loans
GAO-08-800R: Published: Jun 5, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 5, 2008.
Taxpayers who do not want to wait for their tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may choose to obtain refund anticipation loans (RAL). RALs are short-term, high-interest bank loans that are advertised and brokered by both national chain and local tax preparation companies. Although the annual percentage rate (APR) on RALs can be over 500 percent, they allow taxpayers to receive cash...
Tax Gap: A Strategy for Reducing the Gap Should Include Options for Addressing Sole Proprietor Noncompliance
GAO-07-1014: Published: Jul 13, 2007. Publicly Released: Aug 13, 2007.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that $68 billion of the annual $345 billion gross tax gap for 2001 was due to sole proprietors, who own unincorporated businesses by themselves, underreporting their net income by 57 percent. A key reason for this underreporting is well known. Unlike wage and some investment income, sole proprietors' income is not subject to withholding and only a porti...
Using Data from the Internal Revenue Service's National Research Program to Identify Potential Opportunities to Reduce the Tax Gap
GAO-07-423R: Published: Mar 15, 2007. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 2007.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) most recently estimated that the gross tax gap--the difference between what taxpayers pay in taxes voluntarily and on time and what they should pay under the law--reached $345 billion for tax year 2001. The tax gap arises when taxpayers fail to comply with their individual income, corporate income, employment, estate, or excise tax obligations through (1) underre...
Tax Compliance: Better Compliance Data and Long-term Goals Would Support a More Strategic IRS Approach to Reducing the Tax Gap
GAO-05-753: Published: Jul 18, 2005. Publicly Released: Aug 17, 2005.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a gap arises each year between what taxpayers pay accurately and on time in taxes and what they should pay under the law. The tax gap is composed of underreporting of tax liabilities on tax returns, underpaying of taxes due from filed returns, and nonfiling of required tax returns altogether or on time. GAO was asked to provide information on (1) th...
Tax Compliance: Reducing the Tax Gap Can Contribute to Fiscal Sustainability but Will Require a Variety of Strategies
GAO-05-527T: Published: Apr 14, 2005. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2005.
The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) recent estimate of the difference between what taxpayers timely and accurately paid in taxes and what they owed ranged from $312 billion to $353 billion for tax year 2001. IRS estimates it will eventually recover some of this tax gap, resulting in a net tax gap from $257 billion to $298 billion. The tax gap arises when taxpayers fail to comply with the tax laws...