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Open Recommendations

2023 Tax Filing: IRS Improved Customer Service, but Could Further Improve Processing and Evaluate Expedited Hiring

GAO-24-106581
Jan 25, 2024
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4 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Internal Revenue Service The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should evaluate and determine the cause of certain returns not meeting processing time goals and develop a plan for addressing these processing shortfalls. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Internal Revenue Service The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should identify a responsible party who approves and checks the accuracy of Submission Processing data reports and coordinates report dispersal to ensure that they do not contain errors. This individual and quality review process should be documented, such as in the Internal Revenue Manual. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Internal Revenue Service The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should systematically track and evaluate improvement initiatives aimed to address the most common submission processing errors. IRS should document this tracking and evaluation process in guidance, such as in the Internal Revenue Manual. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Internal Revenue Service The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should develop and implement plans to monitor and evaluate its use of direct hire authority. (Recommendation 4)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Employee Benefits Security Administration: Systematic Process Needed to Better Manage Priorities and Increased Responsibilities

GAO-24-105667
Nov 16, 2023
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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Labor The Secretary of Labor should direct EBSA to develop and document a systematic decision-making process for oversight responsibilities and allocating staff in a changing budget environment, which could be incorporated within current planning documents. (Recommendation 1)
Open
EBSA agreed with our assessment of the agency's mission and its budgetary challenges, but disagreed with our conclusion that the agency had not adequately documented its decision-making process. However, EBSA also said it would take further steps to enhance its formal documentation of that process, in accordance with this recommendation. The agency also agreed it could better document the resource planning process to increase transparency-and that it will review its current documentation processes and implement appropriate changes. In addition, EBSA specifically noted that it plans to document the operation, maintenance, and decision-making process associated with employee training in a way that is consistent with our recommendation. We will monitor the agency's progress on these efforts.

Sole Proprietor Compliance: Treasury and IRS Have Opportunities to Reduce the Tax Gap

GAO-24-105281
Nov 15, 2023
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5 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Congress Congress should consider legislation requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to ensure the tax gap strategy includes (1) a segment on improving sole proprietor compliance that is coordinated with broader tax gap reduction efforts, and (2) a specific, integrated plan that could include options we identified, as we recommended in July 2007. (Matter for Consideration 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Congress Congress should consider requiring the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to work with the Secretary of the Treasury to implement tax withholding that is voluntary for companies facilitating payments for services provided by sole proprietors for those taxpayers who choose to participate, as we recommended in May 2020. (Matter for Consideration 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Internal Revenue Service The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should ensure that the Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE) Division assesses the risks of sole proprietor noncompliance, including defining objectives and the risk tolerance SB/SE is willing to accept, as part of its broader efforts to enforce compliance among small businesses. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Internal Revenue Service The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should analyze existing data and forthcoming Form 1099-K data to better understand and gain insights into sole proprietor noncompliance and taxpayer burden that may be unique to sole proprietors, and use that information to make decisions on enforcement and outreach priorities for sole proprietors. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Internal Revenue Service The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should develop and implement a communications plan focused on outreach and education to improve sole proprietor compliance, particularly when tax laws or IRS guidance change. This should include mechanisms to ensure IRS communicates relevant information to sole proprietors in a timely manner and engages stakeholders, as appropriate. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Additional Actions Would Improve USDA's Collection and Reporting of Key Data

GAO-24-106791
Nov 02, 2023
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5 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that OASCR updates USDA's website to note which of the department's No FEAR Act reports prior to 2022 may contain inaccurate data for complaints by the basis of race or national origin because of a data input error. (Recommendation 2)
Open
As of January 2024, USDA has not implemented this recommendation.
Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that OASCR documents and implements a process to review and compare selected complaint data in USDA's No FEAR Act and EEOC Form 462 reports, and identifies and resolves, as appropriate, any inconsistencies before issuing the No FEAR Act reports. (Recommendation 3)
Open
As of January 2024, USDA has not implemented this recommendation.
Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that OASCR develops internal guidance on how to compare the data in USDA's No FEAR Act and EEOC Form 462 reports when reviewing for inconsistencies during the data review process. (Recommendation 4)
Open
As of January 2024, USDA has not implemented this recommendation.
Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that OASCR adds a section to Farm Bill reports that explains the methods used to analyze EEO complaints, including data sources and any changes to those sources or related analyses that were made from the prior year. (Recommendation 5)
Open
As of January 2024, USDA reported that it has implemented this recommendation. We are reviewing USDA's documentation and will update the status of this recommendation.
Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that OASCR documents and implements an internal quality review process for Farm Bill reports to identify and correct any errors and incomplete information. This process should include assigning the role of quality review to someone, independent from the work itself, who verifies that the key facts, figures, and findings align with the sources and are correctly reported. (Recommendation 6)
Open
As of January 2024, USDA reported that it has implemented this recommendation. We are reviewing USDA's documentation and will update the status of this recommendation.