Tax law (1 - 10 of 70 items)
Inland Waterways Fuel Tax: Additional Data Could Enhance IRS's Efforts to Ensure Taxpayer Compliance
GAO-16-682: Published: Jul 29, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2016.
Based on results of audits, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) views vessel operators to be substantially in compliance with requirements to report and pay the Inland Waterways Fuel Tax (fuel tax). IRS seeks to ensure compliance by auditing quarterly excise-tax returns filed by these operators, as well as identifying operators that failed to file (nonfilers).Audits of filed returns: IRS data show...
IRS Return Selection: Certain Internal Controls for Audits in the Small Business and Self-Employed Division Should Be Strengthened
GAO-16-103: Published: Dec 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 2016.
The Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE) division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses over 30 methods, called workstreams, to identify and review tax returns that may merit an audit. These returns were initially identified through seven sources which include referrals; computer programs that run filters, rules, or algorithms to identify potentially noncompliant taxpayers; and related return...
Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: Joint IRS-HUD Administration Could Help Address Weaknesses in Oversight
GAO-15-330: Published: Jul 15, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2015.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) oversight of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program has been minimal. Specifically, since 1986 IRS conducted seven audits of 56 state housing finance agencies (HFA) on which IRS relies to administer and oversee the program. (HFAs are state-chartered authorities established to meet affordable housing needs.) Federal internal control standards call for monit...
2013 Tax Filing Season: IRS Needs to Do More to Address the Growing Imbalance between the Demand for Services and Resources
GAO-14-133: Published: Dec 18, 2013. Publicly Released: Dec 18, 2013.
Despite efficiency gains from processing more tax returns electronically, adding website services, and shifting resources from enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was unable to keep up with demand for telephone and correspondence services. Access to IRS's telephone assistors remained at 68 percent from 2012. The percentage of overage paper correspondence (over 45 days old) increased to...
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...
Federal Tax Collection: Potential for Using Passport Issuance to Increase Collection of Unpaid Taxes
GAO-11-272: Published: Mar 10, 2011. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 2011.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as of the end of fiscal year 2010, the balance of reported unpaid federal taxes was about $330 billion. Given the many challenges that IRS faces, the enforcement of the tax laws and the tax code is on GAO's list of high-risk areas. GAO was asked to (1) determine, to the extent possible, the magnitude of known unpaid federal taxes for individuals who...
Tax Preparer Regulation: IRS Needs a Documented Framework to Achieve Goal of Improving Taxpayer Compliance
GAO-11-336: Published: Mar 31, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2011.
Paid preparers prepare about 60 percent of all tax returns filed, and their actions significantly affect the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) ability to administer tax laws. Previously, GAO found that some preparers made significant errors in preparing tax returns and proposed stricter regulation of preparers. IRS is implementing new requirements for paid preparers that it believes will increase t...
Tax Administration: IRS Should Evaluate Penalties and Develop a Plan to Focus Its Efforts
GAO-09-567: Published: Jun 5, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 2009.
Civil tax penalties are an important tool for encouraging compliance with tax laws. It is important that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) administers penalties properly and determines the effectiveness of penalties in encouraging compliance. In response to a congressional request, GAO determined (1) whether IRS is evaluating penalties in a manner that supports sound penalty administration and vo...
Tax Gap: Requiring Information Reporting for Charitable Cash Contributions May Not Be an Effective Way to Improve Compliance
GAO-09-555: Published: May 14, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2009.
Individual taxpayers who misreport charitable cash contributions they deduct on their tax returns contribute to the tax gap, the difference between tax amounts taxpayers report and pay voluntarily and on time and the amounts they should pay under the law. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) most recently estimated a gross tax gap of $345 billion for tax year 2001. One approach that tends to result...