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The Internal Revenue Service's Use of Private Debt Collection Agencies: Current Status and Issues for Congress

Description: Under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (AJCA, P.L. 108-357), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has acquired for the second time in its history the legal authority to hire private debt collection agencies (PCAs) to assist in the collection of certain individual tax debt. The grant of authority grew out of a proposal made by the Bush Administration in its budget request for the IRS in both FY2004 and FY2005. This report focuses on IRS’s current plan for hiring PCAs to collect delinquent individual taxes and the policy issues it raises. It begins with an examination of the scope of IRS’s authority to use PCAs under the AJCA and concludes with a discussion of the main issues for Congress as it oversees IRS’s efforts to implement and manage the private tax debt collection initiative. The report will be updated to reflect significant legislative action and new developments related to the initiative
Date: January 11, 2006
Creator: Guenther, Gary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Modernization: Continued Improvement in Management Capability Needed to Support Long-Term Transformation

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses (1) how well the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is providing service to taxpayers and ensuring compliance with tax laws, and (2) IRS' progress in its long-term effort to modernize. GAO found that IRS posted mixed results in 2001 in collecting revenues, providing taxpayer service, and enforcing tax laws. On the plus side, IRS processed millions of tax returns and issued refunds without significant problems, taxpayers had an easier time getting through to telephone assistors, and IRS said that it made progress in correcting weaknesses that threatened the security of electronically filed tax information. On the down side, the quality of service provided to taxpayers who visited taxpayer assistance centers, trends in audit rates and enforcement programs, and productivity all experienced troubling declines. With respect to modernization, IRS is making incremental progress in overhauling its organization, performance management system, business processes, and information technology. IRS is also making important progress in implementing its new organizational structure, developing a blueprint for modernizing its business processes and information systems, and more fully defining its strategic direction. However, IRS progress has fallen short of expectations. For example, IRS is not where it should be in implementing management controls over business systems modernization, which has contributed to project delays."
Date: May 8, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Modernization: Long-term Effort Under Way, but Significant Challenges Remain

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) progress in implementing its modernization effort and the challenges that remain."
Date: May 3, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Management: Formidable Challenges Confront IRS as It Attempts to Modernize

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) efforts to implement the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, focusing on IRS': (1) reorganization processes; (2) performance management system; and (3) systems modernization efforts."
Date: July 22, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Modernization: Continued Progress Necessary for Improving Service to Taxpayers and Ensuring Compliance

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Congress passed the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 in response to frustration with the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) inability to effectively carry out its mission. IRS's inability to deliver new computer systems that worked, allegations of abuse of taxpayers by IRS employees, and taxpayers greeted by busy signals when calling IRS for assistance all fed the frustration. The act set two goals for IRS--improve service to taxpayers while continuing to enforce compliance with the tax laws. The act also mandated annual joint congressional oversight hearings, of which this is the fifth and final."
Date: May 20, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Management: Challenges Facing the National Taxpayer Advocate

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the challenges facing the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, focusing on IRS' need to: (1) address complex staffing and operational issues within the Advocate's Office; (2) strengthen efforts within the Advocate's Office to determine the causes of taxpayer problems; and (3) develop performance measures that the National Taxpayer Advocate needs to manage operations and measure effectiveness."
Date: February 10, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Psychopathy in Male and Female Offenders: Validating the CAPP-IRS and Investigating the Impact of Gender Role Conformity

Description: Recent conceptualizations of psychopathy are moving toward more inclusive, purely trait-based models. However, researchers continue to heavily rely on assessments of psychopathy that include categorical behavioral elements. The newly developed Comprehensive Assessment of Psychopathic Personality – Institutional Rating Scale appears to be a promising interview-based measure of psychopathy, but research on its reliability and validity is in its infancy. As a second issue, the vast majority of research on psychopathy, particularly in offender populations, is conducted with male participants. Nonetheless, the growing body of literature involving incarcerated females suggests gender differences in the prevalence and manifestation of psychopathic traits. Reasons for these differences are unclear, but some have proposed socialized gender roles as a contributing factor. With a sample of 52 female 49 male offenders recruited from a large, metropolitan jail, this dissertation evaluated the construct validity of the CAPP-IRS and examined the effect of gender role conformity on the manifestation of psychopathic traits. Results indicated that a three-factor model of psychopathy represented by antagonistic interpersonal relations, restricted emotions, and disinhibited behavior best fit the data. Findings further suggested convergent and discriminant validity for the CAPP-IRS. Additionally, masculine and feminine gender role conformity differentially related to psychopathy, but generally accounted for a small proportion of the variance in psychopathic traits. Recommendations for future research on the CAPP model and its assessment as well as implications for the clinical assessment of psychopathy in women are discussed.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Carter, Rachel Marjann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Taxpayer compliance from three perspectives: A study of economic, environmental, and personal determinants.

Description: Tax evasion is a serious issue that influences governmental revenues, IRS enforcement strategies, and tax policy decisions. While audits are the most effective method of enforcing compliance, they are expensive to conduct and the IRS is only able to audit a fraction of the returns filed each year. This suggests that audits alone are not sufficient to curb the billions of dollars of tax evaded by taxpayers each year and that a better understanding of factors influencing compliance decisions is needed to enable policymakers to craft tax policies that maximize voluntary compliance. Prior research tends to model compliance as economic, environmental, or personal decisions; however, this study models it as a multifaceted decision where these three perspective individually and interactively influence compliance. It is the first to decompose perceived detection risk into two dimensions (selection risk and enforcement risk) and investigates how these two dimensions of risk, decision domains (refund or tax due positions), and three personal factors (mental accounting, narcissism, and proactivity) influence taxpayers’ compliance decisions. I conducted a 2x2 fully crossed experiment involving 331 self-employed taxpayers. These taxpayers have opportunities to evade that employed taxpayers do not. For example, they can earn cash income that is not reported to the IRS by third parties. For self-employed taxpayers (especially those wanting to evade), perceived selection and enforcement risks may be distinctly different depending on a taxpayer’s situation, what they believe they can control, and what risk they are willing to accept. For example, selection risk may be perceived as the greatest risk for those with unreported items on their return, while enforcement risk may be more prominent for those perceiving certain levels of selection risk. Thus, I believe self-employed taxpayers are the most appropriate population to sample from and are likely have reasonable variation in the three personal factors ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Hunt, Nicholas C
Partner: UNT Libraries

IRS's Budget Justification: Options for Structure and Content

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) submits an annual congressional justification for the funds and number of staff positions requested. For fiscal year 2002, IRS asked for $9.4 billion and 101,000 full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff positions. Congress expressed concerns about the information in IRS's justification and asserted that other types of information and presentations would better help Congress evaluate IRS's budget. In the context of Department of the Treasury and Office of Management and Budget guidance, IRS has the flexibility to present more information than it included in the fiscal year 2002 justification and to display it in different ways. Congressional Justifications typically vary in form and content, reflecting the ongoing relationship between each agency and appropriations subcommittee. The main purpose of Congressional Justifications is to give the subcommittees more details about agency programs and their relationship to appropriation requests than the President's budget documents provide. IRS's fiscal year 2002 justification had a summary section and a section on each of IRS's five appropriations. The summary section explained the foundation of IRS's budget request and summarized the dollars and FTE staff positions being requested for specific appropriations."
Date: July 8, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Management: IRS Practices Contribute to Its Resilience, but It Would Benefit from Additional Emergency Planning Efforts

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collects the revenues that fund the federal government and issues billions of dollars in refunds. Consequently, IRS's ability to demonstrate agility and speed in restoring its functions after a disruption is vital to the government and the economy. GAO (1) identified the definition and attributes of organizational resilience; (2) examined the extent to which these attributes are exhibited within IRS; and (3) reviewed the challenges and opportunities faced by the IRS in becoming more resilient. GAO gathered and analyzed the attributes of resilience based on discussions with academic and practitioner experts in the field. GAO then reviewed IRS human capital and emergency preparedness policies and strategic plans, observed campus operations and emergency working group meetings, and interviewed officials from headquarters and each of the four business units."
Date: April 9, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS 2014 Budget: Improvements Made to Budget Request and Cost Estimate, but Further Actions Needed

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "For the fiscal year 2014 budget formulation process, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) implemented a new process that uses templates to help screen, prioritize, and select new initiatives before detailed business cases are developed to support funding requests. The template information that GAO reviewed varied in detail and scope; for some, IRS guidance may have contributed to incomplete submissions to senior leadership. According to Office of Management and Budget Circular A-94, in order to evaluate and compare funding initiatives, decision-makers need to be aware of benefits, costs, and strategies related to achieving program goals. By improving guidance on the type of data to include, IRS could help ensure the templates are fully completed."
Date: September 26, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Budget 2012: Extending Systematic Reviews of Spending Could Identify More Savings Over Time

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The financing of the federal government depends largely on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) efforts to collect taxes. These efforts focus on providing taxpayer services, such as electronic filing and telephone assistance, to make voluntary compliance easier and enforcing tax laws to ensure everyone meets their obligations to pay taxes. To fund IRS's 2012 operations, the President requested $13.3 billion spread over five appropriations, including $6 billion for enforcement, $4.6 billion for operations support, and $2.3 billion for taxpayer services. Because of the size of IRS's budget and the importance of its service and compliance programs for all taxpayers, Congress asked us to review the fiscal year 2012 budget justification for IRS. Special areas of interest included any new tax law enforcement and taxpayer service initiatives, the cost of implementing IRS's responsibilities under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and any opportunities for savings. Based on your request our objectives were to: (1) describe IRS's budget and staffing trends for fiscal years 2008 through 2012; (2) assess IRS's process for identifying potential savings and how it used savings that were greater than projected; (3) describe new enforcement, taxpayer service and other initiatives in the fiscal year 2012 budget justification, including any estimates of return on investment (ROI); (4) assess any legislative proposals in the budget justification and how IRS reports their costs; (5) assess how the budget justification reports on the costs and performance of major information technology (IT) systems; (6) describe how 2012 PPACA costs are presented in the budget justification; and (7) document IRS's implementation of our budget recommendations from prior years' reports as well as highlight our open matters for Congress and recommendations to IRS with potential savings or revenues."
Date: April 11, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reporting Foreign Accounts to IRS: Extent of Duplication Not Currently Known, but Requirements Can Be Clarified

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Some of the information requested on the Form 8938 and FBAR is duplicative. Both forms ask for the same or similar information on the filer, foreign financial accounts, and financial institutions where accounts are held. Form 8938 asks for additional information not required by the FBAR, such as other foreign financial assets and income. Since the Form 8938 is a new requirement beginning after 2011, data are not yet available to determine the number of filers subject to these duplicative reporting requirements."
Date: February 28, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Emergency Planning: Headquarters Plans Supported Response to 2006 Flooding, but Additional Guidance Could Improve All Hazard Preparedness

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "On June 25, 2006, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters building suffered flooding during a period of record rainfall and sustained extensive damage to its infrastructure. IRS officials ordered the closure of the building until December 2006 to allow for repairs to be completed. IRS headquarters officials reported activating several of the agency's emergency operations plans. Within 1 month of the flood, over 2,000 employees normally assigned to the headquarters building were relocated to other facilities throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. GAO was asked to report on (1) how IRS emergency operations plans address federal guidance related to continuity planning and (2) the extent to which IRS emergency operations plans contributed to the actions taken by IRS officials in response to the flood. To address these objectives, GAO analyzed federal continuity guidance, reviewed IRS emergency plans, and interviewed IRS officials."
Date: April 16, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS's Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program: 2009 Participation by State and Location of Foreign Bank Accounts

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "We reported the number of 2008 tax returns by state for IRS's 2009 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) participants. OVPD offered incentives for taxpayers to disclose their offshore accounts and pay delinquent taxes, interest and penalties. Generally, the program offered somewhat reduced penalties and no risk of criminal prosecution, if eligible taxpayers fully disclosed their previously unreported offshore accounts, and paid taxes due plus interest. To safeguard taxpayer identifies, we suppressed the totals for any state with fewer than 10 OVDP participants."
Date: January 6, 2014
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Offers in Compromise: Performance Has Been Mixed; Better Management Information and Simplification Could Improve the Program

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Taxpayers unable to fully pay their tax liabilities may apply for an offer in compromise (OIC), an agreement with IRS to pay what they can afford. IRS writes off the rest of the liability. In 2005, IRS accepted over 14,000 offers. Because of concerns about program performance and a new category of offers based on exceptional circumstances, GAO was asked to (1) describe the trends in program's performance and their causes and (2) determine whether IRS's regulations for exceptional circumstance offers are consistent with statute. GAO examined five program objectives: timeliness, quality, accessibility, compliance, and cost."
Date: April 20, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Website: Long-Term Strategy Needed to Improve Interactive Services

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) existing online services are limited when compared to many other government and private sector organizations. Static web pages make up the majority of www.IRS.gov; however, IRS highlights 18 basic interactive tools from its homepage. IRS does not offer dynamic account access to taxpayers. Other federal and state taxing authorities provide a broader range of online services to their customers, including interactive account access."
Date: April 16, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Modernization: Continued Progress Requires Addressing Resource Management Challenges

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since the passage of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has faced the challenge of managing its resources to simultaneously improve service to taxpayers, assure taxpayers' compliance with the tax laws, and modernize its antiquated information systems. As requested, this statement provides our assessment of IRS's current performance in the areas of taxpayer service, tax law enforcement, and systems modernization. Looking ahead, this statement also describes the challenges that IRS faces in addressing resource constraints as well as realizing efficiency and information systems improvements."
Date: May 19, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Seizures: Limited Progress in Eliminating Asset Management Control Weaknesses

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) progress in eliminating asset management control weaknesses, focusing on: (1) the implementation of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act's mandate to remove revenue officers from the asset sale function; and (2) other internal control weaknesses identified in GAO's 1992 testimony."
Date: November 29, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Modernization: IRS Should Enhance Its Performance Management System

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made progress in revamping its performance management system. The goals, objectives, and measures that IRS has developed, along with its new strategic planning and budgeting process, are intended to integrate results-oriented management into IRS' daily decision-making. However, as IRS officials acknowledge, extensively revamping a performance management system is a complex task that takes years to complete. GAO identified several opportunities to enhance IRS' performance management system, including clarifying goals and objectives, improving the linkages between measures, objectives, and goals, and developing fewer but more specific action items. Such enhancements could increase managerial accountability and create stronger incentives for frontline employees to achieve IRS' goals and objectives."
Date: February 23, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Employee Evaluations: Opportunities to Better Balance Customer Service and Compliance Objectives

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the extent to which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee evaluation system can support the new mission statement during the period IRS will need to revamp its performance management system, focusing on: (1) determining the relative emphasis on revenue production, efficiency, and customer service in enforcement employees' annual written evaluations; (2) identifying features of the evaluation process that might be used to greater advantage to reinforce the importance of customer service; and (3) describing IRS initiatives to promote customer service, including those to encourage enforcement employees to be taxpayer oriented."
Date: October 14, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IRS Telephone Assistance: Quality of Service Mixed in the 2000 Filing Season and Below IRS' Long-Term Goal

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must significantly improve telephone assistance if it is to meet its long-term goal of providing world-class customer service to the tens of millions of taxpayers who call. Although IRS has tried to analyze its performance and identify ways to improve, these efforts have been incomplete. IRS' analyses did not cover all of the key management decisions and other key factors that affect telephone performance. Designing and conducting a comprehensive analysis of the key management decisions and other key factors that affect telephone performance in each filing season will be difficult because the factors that affect performance are multiple and interrelated. However, without a more comprehensive analysis of the factors that affect performance, IRS lacks the information it needs to make decisions to improve performance."
Date: April 6, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department