Tax Administration:

Trends in the Growth and Age of IRS' Accounts Receivable

GGD-90-111FS: Published: Jul 30, 1990. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed trends in the growth and age of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) year-end accounts receivable balances for fiscal years 1986 through 1989.

GAO found that: (1) the dollar value of the combined individual and business master file accounts receivable grew by $13.6 billion from 1986 through 1989; (2) over 60 percent of the total dollar growth occurred from accounts where IRS suspended collection action due to such factors as disputes over taxpayer liability, taxpayer bankruptcy, and IRS inability to locate or obtain payment from taxpayers; (3) by 1989, $30.8 billion of the total individual and business master file accounts receivable were over 1 year old; (4) most of the growth in the number and dollar value of accounts receivable over 1 year old occurred in individual master file accounts; and (5) over 11 percent of the 1989 accounts, owing about $6.3 billion, were over 5 years old.

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