Voluntary compliance (21 - 30 of 186 items)
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...
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...
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...
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...
Recovery Act: Thousands of Recovery Act Contract and Grant Recipients Owe Hundreds of Millions in Federal Taxes
GAO-11-485: Published: Apr 28, 2011. Publicly Released: May 24, 2011.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), enacted on February 17, 2009, appropriated $275 billion to be distributed for federal contracts, grants, and loans. As of March 25, 2011, $191 billion of this $275 billion had been paid out. GAO was asked to determine if Recovery Act contract and grant recipients have unpaid federal taxes and, if so, to (1) determine, to the extent possibl...