Federal Tax Debts: Factors for Considering a Proposal to Report Tax Debts to Credit Bureaus

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "At the end of fiscal year 2011, individuals and businesses owed a total of about $373 billion in federal unpaid tax debts--$258 billion in individual debt and $115 billion in business debt. How much of this debt would be suitable to report to credit bureaus could depend on the purpose of the reporting proposal, such as to collect more debts or simply to inform other potential creditors of the existence of tax debts. Most of debts were relatively small in size. Well over half of individuals ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 10, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "At the end of fiscal year 2011, individuals and businesses owed a total of about $373 billion in federal unpaid tax debts--$258 billion in individual debt and $115 billion in business debt. How much of this debt would be suitable to report to credit bureaus could depend on the purpose of the reporting proposal, such as to collect more debts or simply to inform other potential creditors of the existence of tax debts. Most of debts were relatively small in size. Well over half of individuals and businesses with tax debts owed less than $5,000. However, much of the aggregate debt is concentrated among those owing relatively large amounts. Debts over $25,000 add up to a total of $310 billion. Some debts were in the collection process where the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notifies the taxpayer of the debt and were subject to dispute by the taxpayer, while other debts were covered by installment agreements--about $60 billion of the debts owed were in these two categories. About $110 billion of the total debt was classified by IRS as uncollectable. IRS files tax liens on some tax debts and these liens are public records that credit bureaus routinely pick up and add to their data. Over half of the total amount owed was subject to liens, cutting across the above categories."

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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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  • September 10, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Federal Tax Debts: Factors for Considering a Proposal to Report Tax Debts to Credit Bureaus, report, September 10, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299705/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.