Voluntary compliance (11 - 20 of 92 items)
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...
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...
Internal Revenue Service: Opportunities to Improve the Taxpayer Experience and Voluntary Compliance
GAO-12-652T: Published: Apr 26, 2012. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 2012.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made improvements in processing tax returns, and electronic filing (e-filing), which provides benefits to taxpayers including faster refunds, continues to increase. However, IRSs performance in providing service over the phone and responding to paper correspondence has declined in recent years. For 2012, as with previous years, IRS officials attribute 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 Preparer Regulation: Improving Tax Return Accuracy Depends on IRS's Use of New Requirements
GAO-11-868T: Published: Jul 28, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2011.
Paid preparers are a cornerstone of the U.S. tax system, as they prepare approximately 60 percent of all tax returns filed, and their actions have an enormous impact on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) ability to administer tax laws effectively. In previous work, GAO found that taxpayers were not always served well by their paid preparers, and GAO proposed stricter oversight of preparers. In 2...
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...
Information Reporting: IRS Could Improve Cost Basis and Transaction Settlement Reporting Implementation
GAO-11-557: Published: May 19, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 2011.
Effective implementation of two 2008 laws by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could increase taxpayers' voluntary compliance. Those laws require reporting to IRS and taxpayers of cost basis for sales of certain securities and of transaction settlement information (i.e., merchants' income from payment cards or third party networks). In response to a congressional request, GAO (1) assessed IRS's i...
Taxes and Identity Theft: Status of IRS Initiatives to Help Victimized Taxpayers
GAO-11-674T: Published: May 25, 2011. Publicly Released: May 25, 2011.
Identity theft is a serious and growing problem in the United States. Taxpayers are harmed when identity thieves file fraudulent tax documents using stolen names and Social Security numbers. In 2010 alone, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) identified over 245,000 identity theft incidents that affected the tax system. The hundreds of thousands of taxpayers with tax problems caused by identity thef...
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...