GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Since 1990, GAO has periodically reported on high-risk federal programs that are vulnerable to fraud, waste, and abuse. Two such high-risk areas are managing federal contracts more effectively and assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of federal tax administration.
The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks highlighted the importance of data collection, information sharing, and coordination within the U.S. government. Such efforts are important whether focused on terrorism or as an integral part of a broader strategy for combating money laundering.
The hearing today deals with the important congressional obligation to exercise oversight over the use of taxpayer funds, recognizing that waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement are not victimless activities.
Estimating the extent of abusive tax schemes used by individual taxpayers is difficult because they are often hidden. Nevertheless, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes that the number and dollar consequences of these schemes has grown recently.