Financial Management: Thousands of GSA Contractors Abuse the Federal Tax System

GAO-06-492T Published: Mar 14, 2006. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 2006.
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In February 2004 and again in June 2005, GAO testified that some Department of Defense (DOD) and civilian agency federal contractors abused the federal tax system with little consequence. Previous problems we identified with contractors with unpaid taxes have led to concerns over whether any interagency contractors, such as those on the General Services Administration's (GSA) federal supply schedule, failed to pay their taxes. GSA, through its federal supply schedule and other interagency contracts, arranges for federal agencies to purchase billions of dollars of goods and services directly from private vendors. GAO was asked to determine if GSA contractors, including both contractors that were paid by GSA and GSA interagency contractors, have unpaid federal taxes, and if so, to (1) determine the magnitude of tax debts owed by GSA contractors; (2) identify examples of GSA contractors that have tax debts and are also engaged in potentially abusive, fraudulent, or criminal activities; and (3) determine whether GSA screens contractors for tax debts and criminal activities prior to awarding contracts and at the exercise of any government contract options.

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