High Risk Series:

Internal Revenue Service Receivables

HR-95-6: Published: Feb 1, 1995. Publicly Released: Feb 1, 1995.

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GAO reviewed the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) management of its accounts receivables, focusing on how IRS can increase its collection of delinquent taxes.

GAO found that: (1) IRS poor performance in resolving outstanding tax delinquencies has lessened the government's available revenues and damaged IRS future credibility in enforcing taxpayer compliance; (2) IRS has corrected tax receivable record errors, estimated the size of its receivables inventory, resolved high dollar cases, developed a research system to identify delinquent taxpayers, and settled tax debts; (3) although IRS initiatives were intended to improve the accuracy of its delinquent accounts inventory, slow the growth in accounts receivable, and accelerate the payment of overdue taxes, IRS progress has been negligible; (4) IRS has not yet developed an accounting system that can differentiate between valid and invalid inventory accounts; (5) between 1990 and 1994, the gross tax debt inventory grew about 80 percent; (6) by 1994, annual collections of delinquent taxes had declined from $25.5 billion to $23.5 billion because IRS either wrote off or suspended collection actions; (7) IRS records are inaccurate and insufficient for making strategic collection decisions; (8) the IRS collection process is lengthy, antiquated, rigid, and inefficient and IRS has difficulty in balancing its collection efforts with the need to protect taxpayer rights; (9) IRS decentralized structure tends to blur lines of responsibility and accountability; and (10) IRS does not have enough information to adequately determine the size and mix of its collection staff.

Below are the reports in this series:

High Risk Series: An Overview HR-95-1, Feb 1, 1995

High Risk Series: Quick Reference Guide HR-95-2, Feb 1, 1995

High Risk Series: Defense Contract Management HR-95-3, Feb 1, 1995

High Risk Series: Defense Weapons Systems Acquisition HR-95-4, Feb 1, 1995

High Risk Series: Defense Inventory Management HR-95-5, Feb 1, 1995

High Risk Series: Internal Revenue Service Receivables HR-95-6, Feb 1, 1995

High Risk Series: Asset Forfeiture Programs HR-95-7, Feb 1, 1995

High Risk Series: Medicare Claims HR-95-8, Feb 1, 1995

High Risk Series: Farm Loan Programs HR-95-9, Feb 1, 1995

High Risk Series: Student Financial Aid HR-95-10, Feb 1, 1995

High Risk Series: Department of Housing and Urban Development HR-95-11, Feb 1, 1995

High Risk Series: Superfund Program Management HR-95-12, Feb 1, 1995

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