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Tax Compliance: Challenges in Ensuring Offshore Tax Compliance

GAO-07-823T Published: May 03, 2007. Publicly Released: May 03, 2007.
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Offshore tax evasion is difficult for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to address. IRS examines tax returns to deal with offshore evasion that has occurred. IRS's Qualified Intermediary (QI) program seeks to foster improved tax withholding and reporting. GAO was asked to testify on two topics. First, GAO was asked to provide information on (1) the length of, and assessments from, IRS's examination of tax returns with offshore activity and (2) the impact of the 3-year statute of limitations on offshore cases. Second, for the QI program, GAO was asked to address (1) program features intended to improve withholding and reporting, and (2) whether weaknesses exist in the U.S. withholding system for U.S. source income and QI external reviews and IRS's use of program data. GAO relied on prior work for the first topic. For the QI program, GAO used the latest data that were available and corroborated by IRS.

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