2011 Tax Filing: IRS Dealt with Challenges to Date but Needs Additional Authority to Verify Compliance

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Every tax filing season is a large-scale undertaking during which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) interacts with taxpayers by processing returns, issuing refunds, answering telephone calls, and providing other services, both face-to-face and on its Web site. As part of processing returns and before refunds are issued, IRS uses its statutory authority to automatically correct errors. This allows IRS to avoid costly and burdensome audits and taxpayers to be made aware of additional taxes owed before being required to pay interest and penalties. For the 2011 ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. March 29, 2011.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Every tax filing season is a large-scale undertaking during which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) interacts with taxpayers by processing returns, issuing refunds, answering telephone calls, and providing other services, both face-to-face and on its Web site. As part of processing returns and before refunds are issued, IRS uses its statutory authority to automatically correct errors. This allows IRS to avoid costly and burdensome audits and taxpayers to be made aware of additional taxes owed before being required to pay interest and penalties. For the 2011 filing season, IRS is administering a number of complex tax law changes, including the Residential Energy Property Tax Credit and provisions enacted in December 2010 as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (commonly known as the tax extenders). Other changes for the 2011 filing season include paid preparer regulations and expanded efforts to provide refunds on debit cards. In 2011, for the first time, paid preparers must register with IRS. In the future, certain paid preparers will be subject to competency tests and continuing education requirements to be allowed to prepare tax returns. This year IRS is offering refunds on debit cards to taxpayers at almost all of its roughly 12,000 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites. Also, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) is pilot testing whether offering refunds on debit cards on a larger scale would be feasible. As part of our ongoing assessment of IRS's 2011 filing season being conducted at your request, on March 23 and 24, 2011, we briefed the offices of the Senate Committee on Finance and the Subcommittee on Oversight, House Committee on Ways and Means, respectively, on IRS's performance to date. This report includes updated materials presented at the briefing. Based on discussions with your offices, our objective was to provide an interim assessment of IRS's performance during the 2011 filing season, including its efforts to streamline returns processing, conduct pre-refund compliance checks, improve taxpayer service, and issue refunds on debit cards."

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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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  • March 29, 2011

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. 2011 Tax Filing: IRS Dealt with Challenges to Date but Needs Additional Authority to Verify Compliance, report, March 29, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301127/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.