IRS's Budget Justification: Options for Structure and Content

GAO-02-711R Published: Jul 08, 2002. Publicly Released: Aug 07, 2002.
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) submits an annual congressional justification for the funds and number of staff positions requested. For fiscal year 2002, IRS asked for $9.4 billion and 101,000 full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff positions. Congress expressed concerns about the information in IRS's justification and asserted that other types of information and presentations would better help Congress evaluate IRS's budget. In the context of Department of the Treasury and Office of Management and Budget guidance, IRS has the flexibility to present more information than it included in the fiscal year 2002 justification and to display it in different ways. Congressional Justifications typically vary in form and content, reflecting the ongoing relationship between each agency and appropriations subcommittee. The main purpose of Congressional Justifications is to give the subcommittees more details about agency programs and their relationship to appropriation requests than the President's budget documents provide. IRS's fiscal year 2002 justification had a summary section and a section on each of IRS's five appropriations. The summary section explained the foundation of IRS's budget request and summarized the dollars and FTE staff positions being requested for specific appropriations.

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