Applying Agreed-Upon Procedures:

Highway Trust Fund Excise Taxes

GAO-05-28R: Published: Nov 5, 2004. Publicly Released: Nov 5, 2004.

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Steven J. Sebastian
(202) 512-9521


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

We assisted the Department of Transportation (DOT) in ascertaining whether the net excise tax revenue distributed to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2004, is supported by the underlying records. As agreed with DOT, we evaluated fiscal year 2004 activity affecting distributions to the HTF. In performing the agreed-upon procedures, we conducted our work in accordance with U.S. generally accepted government auditing standards, which incorporate financial audit and attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. These standards also provide guidance for performing and reporting the results of agreed-upon procedures.

The adequacy of the procedures to meet objectives is the Department of Transportation's responsibility, and we make no representation in that respect. The procedures we agreed to perform were (1) detailed tests of transactions that represent the underlying basis of amounts distributed to the HTF, (2) review of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) quarterly HTF certifications, (3) review of the Department of the Treasury's Financial Management Service adjustments to the HTF for fiscal year 2004, (4) review of IRS's precertification of receipts for the second and third quarters of fiscal year 2004, (5) review of certain procedures of the Department of the Treasury's Office of Tax Analysis' (OTA) process for estimating amounts to be distributed to the HTF for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2004, and other procedures including (6) compiling and reporting the net amount of fiscal year 2004 excise taxes distributed to the HTF, (7) detailed tests of transactions that represent total IRS tax revenue receipts and refunds, and (8) review of key reconciliations of IRS records to Treasury records.

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