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Tax Policy and Administration (1 - 7 of 7 items) in Past 6 Months
2016 Filing Season: IRS Improved Telephone Service but Needs to Better Assist Identity Theft Victims and Prevent Release of Fraudulent Refunds
GAO-17-186: Published: Jan 31, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 31, 2017.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided better telephone service to callers during the 2016 filing season—generally between January and mid-April—compared to 2015. However, its performance during the full fiscal year remained low. IRS does not make this nor other types of customer service information easily available to taxpayers, such as in an online dashboard. Without easily accessible i...
International Taxation: Information on the Potential Impact on IRS and U.S. Multinationals of Revised International Guidance on Transfer Pricing
GAO-17-103: Published: Jan 27, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 2017.
In 2015, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) issued revised guidelines, including 15 actions to help reduce base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) of multinational enterprises (MNEs). One action focuses on transfer pricing guidance with the intent of aligning MNE profits with the location of economic activity, and preventing corporations from shifting and assigning p...
Retirement Security: Improved Guidance Could Help Account Owners Understand the Risks of Investing in Unconventional Assets
GAO-17-102: Published: Dec 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 2017.
Federal data collection efforts to date have captured little information on retirement accounts holding unconventional assets—such as real estate, precious metals, private equity, and virtual currency—making the prevalence of such accounts unknown. In tax year 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began requiring that custodians or trustees of individual retirement accounts (IRA)—includin...
Financial Audit: IRS's Fiscal Years 2016 and 2015 Financial Statements
GAO-17-140: Published: Nov 10, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 2016.
In GAO's opinion, the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) fiscal years 2016 and 2015 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, 2016, because of a continuing material weakness in internal control over unpaid assessments. GAO's tests of IRS's compliance with...
Independent Auditor's Report on Applying Agreed-Upon Procedures: Fiscal Year 2016 Excise Tax Distributions to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and the Highway Trust Fund
GAO-17-157R: Published: Nov 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 9, 2016.
GAO performed the procedures contained in the enclosures to this report, which it agreed to perform solely to assist the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General in ascertaining whether the net excise tax revenue distributed to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) and the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2016, is supported by underlying records. The en...
Tax Debt Collection: IRS Needs to Define Field Program Objectives and Assess Risks in Case Selection
GAO-16-787: Published: Sep 13, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 13, 2016.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses automated processes to prioritize cases to be potentially selected for in-person contact to resolve a tax collection issue (see figure), but group managers in the Field Collection program manually select the cases to assign to revenue officers. For example, when reviewing cases, group managers consider characteristics of the revenue officer available—such...
Regulatory Guidance Processes: Treasury and OMB Need to Reevaluate Long-standing Exemptions of Tax Regulations and Guidance
GAO-16-720: Published: Sep 6, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 2016.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses a variety of documents to communicate its interpretation of tax laws to the public, but only considers Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB) guidance to be authoritative. IRS information published outside of the IRB can help taxpayers understand tax laws and make informed decisions, but does not always include information clarifying the limitations of its use. IRS...