Tax Administration:

An Update on IRS' Progress on Accounts Receivable and Strategic Management

T-GGD-92-26: Published: Apr 2, 1992. Publicly Released: Apr 2, 1992.

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GAO commented on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) progress toward: (1) slowing the growth and increasing the collections of accounts receivable; and (2) implementing a strategic management process which relies on meaningful performance measures. GAO noted that: (1) IRS continues to struggle to stem the growth of accounts receivable and increase collections of delinquent accounts; (2) in fiscal year (FY) 1991, collections declined by 5 percent, while the accounts receivable inventory increased from $96.3 billion to $110.7 billion, $29.1 billion which is collectible; (3) even with additional revenue officer staffing and other initiatives that IRS is proposing in its FY 1993 budget request, IRS estimates that there will be fewer revenue officers than there were at the end of FY 1991; (4) IRS is developing much-needed information on the age of delinquencies, the types of taxpayers and taxes making up the inventory, and the sources of receivables; (5) IRS began an improved strategic management process in recognition of the need for improved central management direction and oversight; (6) although IRS has sharpened the focus of its strategic business plan, improved its review process for evaluating field offices performance, and started to identify mission-related performances measures, it needs to take more steps; and (7) GAO is concerned about whether IRS is increasing its collection staff as Congress intended, since the actual number of revenue officers has not changed substantially in recent years.

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