Better Use of Currency and Foreign Account Reports by Treasury and IRS Needed for Law Enforcement Purposes

GGD-79-24: Published: Apr 6, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 6, 1979.

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Currency reports, foreign trust returns, and foreign bank account reports have not been as useful to the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in carrying out their investigative responsibilities, as Congress might have expected when it established the reporting requirements.

Currency reports might be more useful if their processing were centralized in the Treasury Department's law enforcement data system and the Internal Revenue Service made more effective use of that system. Foreign trust returns might be more valuable if the Internal Revenue Service established better criteria for ensuring compliance with filing requirements and for evaluating reported information. The Treasury Department needs to follow up its effotrs to improve the value of foreign bank account data.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Treasury should: eliminate unnecessary processing of currency reports by ensuring that all currency reports are filed with the group designated and eliminating wholesale exchanges of currency reports between IRS and the Treasury; ensure that IRS uses the system to improve the evaluations of information it receives and possesses concerning possible tax law violations; monitor the use of currency transaction reports and the foreign bank account data to determine if their value has improved; and determine whether currency reports and foreign bank account information have potential uses. Furthermore, if the value of currency reports and foreign bank account information cannot be improved, the Secretary should request Congress to reconsider the need for the reporting requirements. The Commissioner of IRS should determine whether IRS can effectvely use the foreign trust returns. If the Commissioner finds that IRS cannot use the forms effectively, he should concurrently request that Congress reconsider the need for filing requirements and develop an alternative plan to help ensure taxpayer compliance with the tax laws governing foreign trusts.

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