Taxpayers (91 - 100 of 725 items)
User Fees: Additional Guidance and Documentation Could Further Strengthen IRS's Biennial Review of Fees
GAO-12-193: Published: Nov 22, 2011. Publicly Released: Nov 22, 2011.
The President's fiscal year 2012 budget proposal requests $13.6 billion to fund the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including $204 million in spending funded through user fee collections. Well-designed and well-implemented user fees can reduce taxpayer burden by funding portions of IRS services that provide special benefits to users beyond what is normally provided to the public. As such, GAO was...
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...
Financial Audit: IRS's Fiscal Years 2011 and 2010 Financial Statements
GAO-12-165: Published: Nov 10, 2011. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 2011.
In accordance with authority granted by the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, GAO annually audits the financial statements of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to determine whether (1) the financial statements are fairly presented and (2) IRS management maintained effective internal control over financial reporting. GAO also tests IRS's compliance with selected provisions of significant laws...
Financial Derivatives: Disparate Tax Treatment and Information Gaps Create Uncertainty and Potential Abuse
GAO-11-750: Published: Sep 20, 2011. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 2011.
Recently, concerns have arisen about the use of certain financial derivatives to avoid or evade tax obligations. As requested, this report (1) identifies and evaluates how financial derivatives can be used to avoid or evade tax liability or achieve differing tax results in economically similar situations, (2) evaluates Internal Revenue Service (IRS) actions to address the tax effects of investment...
E-Filing Tax Returns: Penalty Authority and Digitizing More Paper Return Data Could Increase Benefits
GAO-12-33: Published: Oct 5, 2011. Publicly Released: Oct 5, 2011.
The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) goal is to receive 80 percent of all major types of tax returns electronically by 2012. Legislation passed in November 2009 supports the 80 percent goal for individual income tax returns by requiring tax return preparers who file more than 10 individual returns per year to file them electronically, or e-file. GAO was asked to review IRS's implementation of this...
Tax Whistleblowers: Incomplete Data Hinders IRS's Ability to Manage Claim Processing Time and Enhance External Communication
GAO-11-683: Published: Aug 10, 2011. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2011.
The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 expanded the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) whistleblower program, increasing rewards for submitting information on others' tax underpayments to up to 30 percent of collected proceeds. The expanded program targets tax underpayments over $2 million and could reduce the gap between taxes owed and taxes paid. IRS's Whistleblower Office has received over 1,...
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...
Value-Added Taxes: Potential Lessons for the United States from Other Countries' Experiences
GAO-11-867T: Published: Jul 26, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2011.
Dissatisfaction with the federal tax system has led to a debate about U.S. tax reform, including proposals for a national consumption tax. One type of proposed consumption tax is a value-added tax (VAT), widely used around the world. A VAT is levied on the difference between a business's sales and its purchases of goods and services. Typically, a business calculates the tax due on its sales, subtr...
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...