Financial Audit:

IRS's Fiscal Years 2001 and 2000 Financial Statements

GAO-02-414: Published: Feb 27, 2002. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2002.

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Steven J. Sebastian
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Office of Public Affairs
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This report presents the results of GAO's audits of the financial statements of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for fiscal years 2001 and 2000. GAO was able to provide unqualified opinions on IRS's fiscal years 2001 and 2000 financial statements because IRS senior management and staff made extraordinary efforts to compensate for serious internal control and systems deficiencies. Despite these efforts, IRS found it extremely difficult to meet the February 27 reporting deadline set by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB intends to significantly accelerate this deadline in the future. Beginning with fiscal year 2004, IRS will be required to issue its financial statements by November 15--only 6 weeks after the end of the fiscal year. Moreover, the Department of Treasury has established a goal of completing its fiscal year 2002 audit, including those of its component entities, and issuing its department wide accountability report by November 15, 2002. To meet this goal and sustain an unqualified opinion on its financial statements, IRS will need to make systemic changes in how it processes transactions, maintains its financial records, and reports its financial results. At present, IRS lacks timely, accurate, and useful financial information and sound controls with which to make fully informed decisions and ensure ongoing accountability.

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