Tax Administration: New Compliance Research Effort Is on Track, but Important Work Remains

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. tax system is based on taxpayers voluntarily complying with the tax laws. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last measured taxpayers' rate of compliance using 1988 tax returns. As time has passed, IRS has become concerned that its ability to understand the effectiveness of its programs and target audits on noncompliant returns has deteriorated, potentially resulting in poorer service to taxpayers, reduced confidence in the fairness of the tax system, and unnecessary audits of compliant taxpayers. IRS is now planning a new compliance study ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. June 27, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. tax system is based on taxpayers voluntarily complying with the tax laws. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last measured taxpayers' rate of compliance using 1988 tax returns. As time has passed, IRS has become concerned that its ability to understand the effectiveness of its programs and target audits on noncompliant returns has deteriorated, potentially resulting in poorer service to taxpayers, reduced confidence in the fairness of the tax system, and unnecessary audits of compliant taxpayers. IRS is now planning a new compliance study called the National Research Program (NRP). NRP is designed to review 49,000 individual tax returns randomly selected from the population of over 129 million. According to the NRP plan, IRS will review each sampled return to determine whether the taxpayer has complied with statutory income, expense, and tax reporting requirements. Unlike past compliance studies, not all of the reviews will include contacting taxpayers. Based on GAO's assessment of the NRP in light of government guidance on performance measurement and data reliability, research design guidelines, and IRS's goals for the program, NRP's design is likely to yield the sort of detailed information that IRS needs to measure overall compliance, develop formulas to select likely noncompliant returns for audit, and identify compliance problems to address."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 27, 2002

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Tax Administration: New Compliance Research Effort Is on Track, but Important Work Remains, report, June 27, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290734/: accessed November 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.