Income taxes (61 - 70 of 239 items)
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 Policy: Tax-Exempt Status of Certain Bonds Merits Reconsideration, and Apparent Noncompliance with Issuance Cost Limitations Should Be Addressed
GAO-08-364: Published: Feb 15, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2008.
The outstanding amount of state and local government tax-exempt bonds has increased over the years. Congress is interested in whether the bonds are used for appropriate purposes since the federal government forgoes billions in tax revenues annually by excluding the bonds' interest from investors' federal gross income. Questions also exist over the bonds' borrowing costs as they can divert funds fr...
Tax Administration: Costs and Uses of Third-Party Information Returns
GAO-08-266: Published: Nov 20, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 20, 2007.
One proven approach for improving tax compliance is information reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by third parties about taxpayers' income and expenses. IRS matches information returns with taxpayers' income tax returns to see if taxpayers have filed returns and reported all their income. The administration's fiscal year 2008 budget proposed requiring information reporting on merchan...
Tax Administration: 2007 Filing Season Continues Trend of Improvement, but Opportunities to Reduce Costs and Increase Tax Compliance Should be Evaluated
GAO-08-38: Published: Nov 15, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 17, 2007.
In 2007, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will spend over $3 billion to process returns and provide taxpayer service. Effective service can reduce taxpayers' burden of complying with tax laws and, many tax experts believe, may improve compliance. GAO was asked to assess IRS's performance relative to 2007 goals and prior years' performance including identifying actions that might generate efficie...
Internal Revenue Service: Assessment of the 2008 Budget Request and an Update of 2007 Performance
GAO-07-719T: Published: May 9, 2007. Publicly Released: May 9, 2007.
The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) budget request shows how IRS intends to balance spending for enforcement and taxpayer service, including spending for new initiatives and the Business Systems Modernization (BSM) program. A combination of enforcement and taxpayer service promotes compliance with the tax laws. GAO was asked to (1) compare IRS's proposed FY 2008 budget to prior years' and assess...
Tax Compliance: Challenges in Ensuring Offshore Tax Compliance
GAO-07-823T: Published: May 3, 2007. Publicly Released: May 3, 2007.
Offshore tax evasion is difficult for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to address. IRS examines tax returns to deal with offshore evasion that has occurred. IRS's Qualified Intermediary (QI) program seeks to foster improved tax withholding and reporting. GAO was asked to testify on two topics. First, GAO was asked to provide information on (1) the length of, and assessments from, IRS's examinati...
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...
2007 Tax Filing Season: Interim Results and Updates of Previous Assessments of Paid Preparers and IRS's Modernization and Compliance Research Efforts
GAO-07-720T: Published: Apr 12, 2007. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 2007.
The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) tax filing season performance is a key indicator of how well IRS serves taxpayers. This year's filing season was expected to be risky because of tax system changes, including the telephone excise tax refund (TETR) which can be requested by all individuals and entities that paid the excise tax. GAO was asked to describe IRS's service to taxpayers so far this fil...
Taxpayer Service: State Experiences Indicate IRS Would Face Challenges Developing an Internet Filing System with Net Benefits
GAO-07-570: Published: Apr 5, 2007. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 2007.
Some states and countries allow taxpayers to prepare and file tax returns on their Internet Web sites at no charge, an option not available to federal taxpayers. Such a service might mitigate the concerns taxpayers have about current electronic filing options, which require filing through a third party and may involve fees. Increased electronic filing would reduce IRS's paper processing costs, red...
Taxpayer Advocate Service: Caseload Has Grown and Taxpayers Report Being Satisfied, but Additional Measures of Efficiency and Effectiveness Are Needed
GAO-07-156: Published: Feb 22, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 2007.
Congress created the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) to assist taxpayers in resolving problems with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to propose changes to IRS's practices to mitigate problems affecting taxpayers in general. TAS uses case advocacy and systemic advocacy, respectively, to address these two goals. GAO was asked to address (1) why TAS's caseload has increased since 2004, (2) how...