Tax administration (1 - 10 of 235 items)
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...
Refundable Tax Credits: Comprehensive Compliance Strategy and Expanded Use of Data Could Strengthen IRS's Efforts to Address Noncompliance
GAO-16-475: Published: May 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 2016.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), and the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) provide tax benefits to millions of taxpayers—many of whom are low-income—who are working, raising children, or pursuing higher education. These credits are refundable in that, in addition to offsetting tax liability, any excess credit over the tax liability is refunded t...
Identity Theft and Tax Fraud: IRS Needs to Update Its Risk Assessment for the Taxpayer Protection Program
GAO-16-508: Published: May 24, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2016.
Taxpayer Protection Program (TPP). While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made efforts to strengthen TPP—a program to authenticate the identities of suspicious tax return filers and prevent identity theft (IDT) refund fraud—fraudsters are still able to pass through and obtain fraudulent refunds. TPP authenticates taxpayers by asking questions only a real taxpayer should know; however, fr...
Tax Filing: IRS Needs a Comprehensive Customer Service Strategy and Needs to Better Combat Identity Theft Refund Fraud and Protect Taxpayer Data
GAO-16-578T: Published: Apr 19, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 2016.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) improved phone service to taxpayers during the 2016 filing season compared to last year. According to IRS, this is due in part to the additional $290 million in funding Congress provided to improve customer service, identity theft (IDT) refund fraud, and cybersecurity efforts. However, IRS expects its performance for the entire fiscal year will not reach the leve...
Information Security: IRS Needs to Further Improve Controls over Taxpayer Data and Continue to Combat Identity Theft Refund Fraud
GAO-16-589T: Published: Apr 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 2016.
In March 2016, GAO reported that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had instituted numerous controls over key financial and tax processing systems; however, it had not always effectively implemented other controls intended to properly restrict access to systems and information, among other security measures. In particular, while IRS had improved some of its access controls, weaknesses remained in...
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...
Small Businesses: IRS Considers Taxpayer Burden in Tax Administration, but Needs a Plan to Evaluate the Use of Payment Card Information for Compliance Efforts
GAO-15-513: Published: Jun 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 2015.
According to estimates produced by government tax researchers using 2010 taxpayer data, small businesses (defined in the research as individuals or entities with substantive business activity but with less than $10 million in total income and deductions) make up 99 percent of all businesses. Approximately 69 percent of small businesses (about 16 million) are individual taxpayers who report busines...
Identity Theft and Tax Fraud: Enhanced Authentication Could Combat Refund Fraud, but IRS Lacks an Estimate of Costs, Benefits and Risks
GAO-15-119: Published: Jan 20, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 2015.
Identity Theft (IDT) Refund Fraud Cost Estimates. The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) fraud estimates met several GAO Cost Guide best practices, such as documenting data sources and detailing calculations. However, the estimates do not reflect the uncertainty inherent in measuring IDT refund fraud because they are presented as point estimates. Best practices suggest that agencies assess the effec...
Tax Filing Season: 2014 Performance Highlights the Need to Better Manage Taxpayer Service and Future Risks
GAO-15-163: Published: Dec 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2014.
The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) processing of tax returns was timely, even though the filing season was delayed due to the 2013 government shutdown. Continued growth in e-filing allows IRS to reduce costs and issue refunds faster. Although IRS received fewer calls in 2014, the percentage of callers seeking help who received it remained low and wait times remained high compared to prior years...
IRS Correspondence Audits: Better Management Could Improve Tax Compliance and Reduce Taxpayer Burden
GAO-14-479: Published: Jun 5, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2014.
The notices the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sends during correspondence audits have misled taxpayers by providing unrealistic time frames on when IRS would respond to their correspondence. For example, notices stated that IRS would respond within 30 to 45 days when it has consistently taken several months to do so. Further, as of early 2014, IRS data show that it had not responded timely to mor...