High-Risk Series:

IRS Management

HR-97-8: Published: Feb 1, 1997. Publicly Released: Feb 1, 1997.

Additional Materials:


Lynda D. Willis
(202) 512-8633


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO reviewed four high-risk areas at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) involving; (1) the multi-billion dollar Tax Systems Modernization initiative; (2) substantial financial management weaknesses which diminish IRS' ability to assess the results of operations or measure performance; (3) problems in the management and collection of billions of dollars in tax accounts receivable; and (4) significant levels of tax filing fraud.

GAO found that: (1) IRS has made some progress in addressing the problems GAO has identified in the four high-risk areas; (2) IRS is finalizing a comprehensive strategy to maximize electronic filing and has begun initiatives to develop a complete integrated systems architecture; (3) in response to GAO recommendations, IRS has also begun to plan both short-term and long-term solutions to its financial management problems, has implemented a new administrative accounting system, and has transferred its payroll processing to the Department of Agriculture's National Finance Center; (4) in dealing with its accounts receivable problems, IRS has streamlined selected notification and collection processes and is developing ways to adjust its collection techniques to address the various characteristics of delinquent taxpayers; (5) IRS' effort to further prevent and deter the filing of fraudulent tax returns has involved increasing the electronic filters and manual checks to screen electronic and paper returns for problems, determine the suitability of those who want to serve as preparers or transmitters of electronic returns, and better identify questionable refund claims; (6) IRS' and Treasury's actions are encouraging, but GAO remains concerned because continued progress is needed to fully implement essential improvements; and (7) until IRS sustains an agency-wide commitment and devotes the necessary management attention to addressing the challenges it faces in modernizing its processes and systems, it cannot hope to solve its high-risk problems.

Below are the reports in this series:

High-Risk Series: An Overview HR-97-1, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: Quick Reference Guide HR-97-2, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: Defense Financial Management HR-97-3, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: Defense Contract Management HR-97-4, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: Defense Inventory Management HR-97-5, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: Defense Weapon Systems Acquisition HR-97-6, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: Defense Infrastructure HR-97-7, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: IRS Management HR-97-8, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: Information Management and Technology HR-97-9, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: Medicare HR-97-10, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: Student Financial Aid HR-97-11, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: Department of Housing and Urban Development HR-97-12, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: Department of Energy Contract Management HR-97-13, Feb 1, 1997

High-Risk Series: Superfund Program Management HR-97-14, Feb 1, 1997

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