Although some civil settlement payments are deductible, their deterrence factor could be lessened if companies can deduct certain settlement payments from their income taxes. GAO was asked to (1) identify federal agencies that negotiated some of the largest dollar civil settlements, (2) determine whether selected federal agencies take tax consequences into account when negotiating settlements and officials' views on whether they should address payment deductibility in settlement agreements, (3) determine whether companies with some of the largest civil settlement payments deducted any of the payments on their federal income taxes, and (4) determine what information the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collects on civil settlements reached by federal agencies.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Internal Revenue Service||1. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should direct the appropriate officials to work with federal agencies that reach large civil settlements to develop a cost effective permanent mechanism to notify IRS when such settlements have been completed and to provide IRS with other settlement information that it deems useful in ensuring the proper tax treatment of settlement payments.|