Applying Agreed-Upon Procedures:

Fiscal Year 2010 Airport and Airway Trust Fund Excise Taxes

GAO-11-120R: Published: Nov 4, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 4, 2010.

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We have performed the procedures, which we agreed to perform and with which the Department of Transportation's Inspector General concurred, solely to assist the Inspector General's office in ascertaining whether the net excise tax revenue distributed to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2010, is supported by the underlying records. As agreed with the Inspector General's office, we evaluated fiscal year 2010 activity affecting excise tax distributions to the AATF. We conducted the engagement in accordance with U.S. generally accepted government auditing standards, which incorporate certain financial audit and attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The Department of Transportation's Inspector General Office is responsible for the adequacy of these agreed-upon procedures to meet the office's objectives, and we make no representation in that respect. The procedures we agreed to perform were related to (1) transactions that represent the underlying basis of amounts distributed from the general fund to the AATF during fiscal year 2010, (2) the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) quarterly AATF excise tax receipt certifications prepared during fiscal year 2010, (3) the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Management Service adjustments to AATF excise tax distributions during fiscal year 2010, (4) the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Tax Analysis's (OTA) estimates of excise tax amounts to be distributed to the AATF for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010, (5) adjustments to the AATF for tax on kerosene used in aviation during fiscal year 2010, and (6) the amount of net excise taxes distributed to the AATF during fiscal year 2010.

The total tax liability amount related to the 30 returns from the quarter ended June 30, 2009, was approximately $9.1 billion or 72 percent of the total recorded tax liability amount of $12.7 billion for all excise tax returns for the quarter. Of these 30 returns, 9 contained primarily AATF-related tax liabilities and 21 contained primarily HTF-related tax liabilities. The total tax liability amount related to the 30 returns from the quarter ended September 30, 2009, was approximately $9.2 billion or 71 percent of the total recorded tax liability amount of $12.9 billion for all excise tax returns for the quarter. Of these 30 returns, 9 contained primarily AATF-related tax liabilities and 21 contained primarily Highway Trust Fund (HTF)-related tax liabilities. Excise tax collections from IRS's master file materially agreed with IRS's Collection Certification System for the first two quarters of fiscal year 2010. The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Management Service (FMS) adjustment amounts for all four quarters were mathematically correct. OTA prepared a tax rate table to capture information concerning tax rates, tax basis, accounts, and deposit rules in effect during the quarter. OTA used the rate table in preparing the five semimonthly estimates that affect fiscal year 2010 distributions to the AATF. Adjustments to the AATF for tax on kerosene used in aviation were made during fiscal year 2010 and were mathematically correct. Based on a compilation of IRS's quarterly certifications, OTA's estimations, and adjustments, the amount of net excise taxes that should have been distributed to the AATF in fiscal year 2010 was $10,612,953,000.

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