Tax Administration:

IRS' 2000 Tax Filing Season and Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Request

T-GGD/AIMD-00-133: Published: Mar 28, 2000. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2000.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) fiscal year (FY) 2001 budget request, focusing on: (1) the 2000 tax filing season; (2) IRS' FY 2001 budget request and supporting documentation; and (3) GAO's reviews of various IRS activities, including those related to information systems and IRS' reorganization.

GAO noted that: (1) IRS made several important changes to its tax processing systems before the 2000 filing season, and those systems have operated without significant problems; (2) the use of electronic filing continues to grow, which is partly attributable to various IRS initiatives to make electronic filing paperless and to better promote the program; (3) compared to last year, when IRS experienced serious problems, telephone service has improved, but it has yet to reach the level of service achieved in 1998; (4) IRS is requesting about $8.986 billion for FY 2001, an increase of 9 percent over IRS' proposed operating level for FY 2000; (5) IRS is also requesting: (a) a supplemental appropriation of $39.8 million for FY 2000, which is included in the proposed operating level for that year; and (b) an advance appropriation for FY 2002 for its multiyear capital account; (6) IRS' request includes $1.58 billion for its Information Systems appropriation and $494 million for its multiyear capital account, $375 million of which would be an advance appropriation for FY 2002; (7) because the $494 million request is not adequately justified, Congress should consider denying the request and directing the IRS to develop a credible and verifiable FY 2001 budget request for the capital account that it can use in seeking, if necessary, a supplemental appropriation; (8) IRS includes $182 million to cover expenses associated with its reorganization; (9) IRS' budget request does not provide clear links between the resources being requested and expected results; and (10) as IRS proceeds with its reorganization and its efforts to develop new performance measures, it has an opportunity to make future budget requests more useful to Congress.

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