Priority Open Recommendations:
Internal Revenue Service
GAO-19-324SP: Published: Apr 4, 2019. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 2019.
Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to the recommendations where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.
This report outlines our 23 priority open recommendations for the Internal Revenue Service as of April 2019.
For example, IRS should develop a strategy to improve customer service to help taxpayers meet their tax responsibilities.
Since our previous letter in March 2018, IRS implemented 1 of our priority recommendations.
Graphic showing that this report discusses GAO's 2019 priority recommendations for the Internal Revenue Service
What GAO Found
In March 2018, GAO identified 16 priority recommendations for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Since then, IRS has implemented one of those recommendations by using more complete performance information to make decisions that justify the use of resources to audit certain types of tax issues and returns.
In March 2019, GAO identified eight additional priority recommendations for IRS, bringing the total number to 23. These recommendations involve the following areas:
- Improving payment integrity
- Reducing tax fraud
- Improving resource investment decision-making and oversight
- Improving information security
- Improving audit effectiveness
- Improving taxpayer services
IRS's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.
Why GAO Did This Study
Priority recommendations are open GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015 GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.