About $1 trillion in income was distributed in 2001 by flow-through entities such as partnerships and trusts. These entities do not pay taxes on flow-through income. They report it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on a Schedule K-1 and their partners or beneficiaries pay any tax. Concerned about underreporting, IRS began matching the flow-through income reported on Schedule K-1s with that reported on individuals' returns. In 2002, IRS began sending notices to taxpayers about suspected noncompliance. After complaints that many notices were going to compliant taxpayers, IRS stopped sending notices. Concerned about the burden, Congress asked GAO to, among other things, (1) describe the burden caused by the notices and IRS's rationale for stopping them, (2) assess IRS's management of the program, and (3) describe the steps IRS will take to address any problems.
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