Applying Agreed-Upon Procedures:

Highway Trust Fund Excise Taxes

GAO-04-213R: Published: Nov 20, 2003. Publicly Released: Nov 20, 2003.

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Steven J. Sebastian
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The Inspector General (IG) of the Department of Transportation requested that GAO perform procedures to assist the IG's office in ascertaining whether the net excise tax revenue distributed to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2003, is supported by the underlying records. GAO evaluated fiscal year 2003 activity affecting distributions to the HTF.

GAO noted that the adequacy of the procedures to meet IG's objectives is the IG's responsibility, and GAO makes no representation in that respect. The procedures GAO agreed to perform include (1) detailed tests of transactions that represent the underlying basis of amounts distributed to the HTF, (2) review of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) quarterly HTF certifications, (3) review of the Department of the Treasury Financial Management Service (FMS) adjustments to the HTF for fiscal year 2003, (4) review of IRS's precertification1 of receipts for the third quarter of fiscal year 2003, (5) review of certain procedures of the Department of the Treasury Office of Tax Analysis' (OTA) process for estimating amounts to be distributed to the HTF for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2003, and other procedures including (6) comparison of net excise tax distributions to the HTF during fiscal year 2003 and amounts reported in the draft financial statements prepared by the Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD) for the HTF and the HTF's draft financial statements, (7) detailed tests of transactions that represent total IRS tax revenue receipts and refunds, and (8) review of key reconciliations of IRS records to Treasury records. GAO was not engaged to perform, and did not perform, an audit, the objective of which would have been the expression of an opinion on the amount of net excise taxes distributed to the HTF.

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