Taxes (21 - 30 of 364 items)
Identity Theft and Tax Fraud: Enhanced Authentication Could Combat Refund Fraud, but IRS Lacks an Estimate of Costs, Benefits and Risks
GAO-15-119: Published: Jan 20, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 2015.
Identity Theft (IDT) Refund Fraud Cost Estimates. The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) fraud estimates met several GAO Cost Guide best practices, such as documenting data sources and detailing calculations. However, the estimates do not reflect the uncertainty inherent in measuring IDT refund fraud because they are presented as point estimates. Best practices suggest that agencies assess the effec...
Financial Audit: IRS's Fiscal Years 2014 and 2013 Financial Statements
GAO-15-173: Published: Nov 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 2014.
In GAO's opinion, the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) fiscal years 2014 and 2013 financial statements are fairly presented in all material respects. However, in GAO's opinion, IRS did not maintain effective internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2014, because of a continuing material weakness in internal control over unpaid tax assessments. GAO's tests of IRS's compliance w...
Large Partnerships: With Growing Number of Partnerships, IRS Needs to Improve Audit Efficiency
GAO-14-732: Published: Sep 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 18, 2014.
The number of large partnerships has more than tripled to 10,099 from tax year 2002 to 2011. Almost two-thirds of large partnerships had more than 1,000 direct and indirect partners, had six or more tiers and/or self reported being in the finance and insurance sector, with many being investment funds.The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits few large partnerships. Most audits resulted in no chang...
Tobacco Taxes: Disparities in Rates for Similar Smoking Products Continue to Drive Market Shifts to Lower-Taxed Options
GAO-14-811T: Published: Jul 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2014.
Large federal excise tax disparities among smoking tobacco products, which resulted from the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009, created opportunities for tax avoidance and led to significant market shifts toward lower-taxed products by manufacturers, importers, and price-sensitive consumers. From fiscal year 2008, the last year before CHIPRA, to fiscal year 2...
Large Partnerships: Growing Population and Complexity Hinder Effective IRS Audits
GAO-14-746T: Published: Jul 22, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 2014.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data show, from tax years 2002 to 2011, the number of large partnerships more than tripled. According to IRS officials, many large partnerships are hedge funds or other investment funds where the investors are legally considered partners. Many others are large because they are tiered and include investment funds as indirect partners somewhere in a tiered structure. A...
Tax Policy: Differences in Definitions and Rules in the Tax Code
GAO-14-652R: Published: Jul 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 18, 2014.
Definitions for the same or similar terms can differ across tax provisions and policy objectives. These terms include (1) income, (2) small business, and (3) disabled. At least a dozen different tax code sections modify adjusted gross income (AGI) as part of determining the tax consequences of a particular provision. Depending on the code section, modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is determine...
IRS Correspondence Audits: Better Management Could Improve Tax Compliance and Reduce Taxpayer Burden
GAO-14-479: Published: Jun 5, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2014.
The notices the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sends during correspondence audits have misled taxpayers by providing unrealistic time frames on when IRS would respond to their correspondence. For example, notices stated that IRS would respond within 30 to 45 days when it has consistently taken several months to do so. Further, as of early 2014, IRS data show that it had not responded timely to mor...
Partnerships and S Corporations: IRS Needs to Improve Information to Address Tax Noncompliance
GAO-14-453: Published: May 14, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2014.
The full extent of partnership and S corporation income misreporting is unknown. The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) last study of S corporations, using 2003-2004 data, estimated that these entities annually misreported about 15 percent (an average of $55 billion for 2003 and 2004) of their income. IRS does not have a similar study for partnerships. Using IRS data and the study results, GAO deriv...
Private Pensions: Pension Tax Incentives Update
GAO-14-334R: Published: Mar 20, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 2014.
To encourage private-sector employers to sponsor new pension plans and U.S. workers to save for retirement, federal law authorizes a variety of tax incentives, such as the ability to defer taxes on contributions to qualified plans until the funds are distributed, up to certain limits. Since 2000, the dollar amount of these limits has increased over time. However, from 2009 through 2011, the number...
Puerto Rico: Information on How Statehood Would Potentially Affect Selected Federal Programs and Revenue Sources
GAO-14-31: Published: Mar 4, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2014.
Of the 29 federal programs GAO reviewed (which accounted for about 86 percent of federal program spending for states or their residents in fiscal year 2010), statehood would likely affect 11 programs. For 3 other programs, while the programs themselves would likely not change under statehood, eligibility determinations for these programs could be affected indirectly by changes that could occur to...