Taxes (21 - 30 of 129 items)
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...
Appraised Values on Tax Returns: Burdens on Taxpayers Could Be Reduced and Selected Practices Improved
GAO-12-608: Published: Jun 5, 2012. Publicly Released: Jul 5, 2012.
Appraisers most prominent role relative to the three types of tax returns GAO studied is in the valuation of estates. In the most recent years for which GAO had data, appraisers were likely involved in the valuation of property worth from $75 billion to $167 billion reported on estate tax returns in 2009. In contrast, less than $17 billion worth of gifts in 2009 and less than $10 billion in...
Tax Gap: Sources of Noncompliance and Strategies to Reduce It
GAO-12-651T: Published: Apr 19, 2012. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 2012.
Noncompliance does not have a single source but occurs across different types of taxes and taxpayers. For example, individual income tax accounts for the largest portion of the tax gap, but corporate income tax and employment tax are also significant. Further, misreporting by individuals involves business income, non-business income, deductions, and credits. The extent of misreporting depends on t...
Taxpayer Privacy: A Guide for Screening and Assessing Proposals to Disclose Confidential Tax Information to Specific Parties for Specific Purposes
GAO-12-231SP: Published: Dec 14, 2011. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 2012.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) receives a great deal of personal information about individuals and businesses. While taxpayers are required to provide this information to IRS under penalty of fine or imprisonment, confidentiality of information reported to IRS is widely held to be a critical element of taxpayers willingness to provide information to IRS and comply with the tax laws. As a...
Tax Gap: Complexity and Taxpayer Compliance
GAO-11-747T: Published: Jun 28, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 2011.
Taxes are necessary because they fund the services provided by government. Several years ago, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimated that the gross tax gap--the difference between taxes owed and taxes paid on time--was $345 billion for 2001. In the face of large and growing deficits, it is important to seek out potential causes and solutions to the tax gap. Achieving high levels of voluntary...
Tax Administration: Information on Selected Foreign Practices That May Provide Useful Insights
GAO-11-439: Published: May 24, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2011.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and foreign tax administrators face similar issues regardless of the particular provisions of their laws. These issues include, for example, helping taxpayers prepare and file returns, and assuring tax compliance. Understanding how other tax administrators have used certain practices to address common issues can provide insights to help inform deliberations about...
Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions: IRS Needs Better Data to Inform Decisions about Transactions
GAO-11-493: Published: May 12, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2011.
Abusive tax avoidance transactions (ATAT) range from frivolous tax schemes to highly technical and abusive tax shelters marketed to taxpayers by promoters selling tax advice. ATATs threaten the U.S. tax system's integrity if honest taxpayers believe that others do not pay their fair share of taxes. GAO was asked to (1) describe what is known about trends in ATAT usage; (2) describe results of IRS'...
Tax Administration: Preliminary Information on Selected Foreign Practices That May Provide Useful Insights
GAO-11-540T: Published: Apr 12, 2011. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 2011.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and foreign tax administrators face similar issues regardless of the particular provisions of their laws. These issues include, for example, helping taxpayers prepare and file returns, and assuring tax compliance. GAO was asked to describe (1) how foreign tax administrators have approached issues that are similar to those in the U.S. tax system and (2) whether an...
Tax Administration: Usage and Selected Analyses of the First-Time Homebuyer Credit
GAO-10-1025R: Published: Sep 2, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 2, 2010.
As an important part of the economic stimulus efforts, Congress enacted the First- Time Homebuyer Credit (FTHBC) to assist the struggling real estate market and encourage taxpayers to purchase their first homes. Congress enacted different versions of the FTHBC--as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (Housing Act); the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act);...
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...