Tax Administration:

Trends for Certain IRS Programs

GGD-93-102FS: Published: May 26, 1993. Publicly Released: May 26, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reported the results of its work to develop trend data for various Internal Revenue Service (IRS) programs, including: (1) mission-related indicators that IRS has traditionally used; (2) IRS key enforcement programs; and (3) IRS taxpayer service and tax return processing activities.

GAO found that: (1) resource, workload, and output indicators reflect the level of performance at IRS as opposed to program results or program impact; (2) IRS has started to develop performance measures for increasing voluntary compliance, reducing taxpayer burden, and improving productivity and customer satisfaction; (3) IRS plans to measure how its components contribute to mission accomplishment; (4) IRS has traditionally relied on voluntary compliance and the tax gap to measure its progress; (5) the Enforcement Management Information System is generating various management information reports on revenue generated from each IRS enforcement program, but IRS is not using the data for management decisionmaking; (6) IRS is trying to prevent erroneous receivables from being added to the accounts receivable inventory; (7) IRS needs to develop impact measures for some of its collection activities; (8) IRS has improved its taxpayer assistance activities since the 1991 filing season, but taxpayers are having trouble getting through to IRS over the telephone; and (9) IRS publishes numerous forms, publications, and instructions to help taxpayers understand tax laws and meet their filing requirements.

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