Category Archives: Tax Policy and Administration

Keeping IRS Audits Fair

April 18th is the deadline for filing taxes. But after the crunch—and perhaps a collective sigh of relief from taxpayers—the IRS’s work continues. That includes identifying a small percentage of returns to examine more carefully. These audits help ensure a … Continue reading

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Preventing Potentially Billions of Dollars in ID Theft Tax Refund Fraud

Two things cause stress for just about everybody: taxes and identity theft. And when those two things come together, the result can be a nightmare. For Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, today’s WatchBlog focuses on how the IRS can combat … Continue reading

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Deteriorating IRS Customer Service (podcast and infographic)

If you have a question about your taxes, you can call the IRS. But you may have to wait awhile to get the help you need. Listen to Jay McTigue, a director in our Strategic Issues team, discuss what his … Continue reading

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Tracking the E-cigarette Trade

Up to 90% of electronic cigarette devices in the multi-billion-dollar U.S. e-cigarette market are imported, according to expert estimates. But until recently, the federal government couldn’t determine the volume of e-cigarette imports because they were lumped together for tracking purposes … Continue reading

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Getting Closure on Our Recommendations

Last year, we blogged about why agencies implement GAO’s recommendations. Looking at our annual Performance and Accountability Report, you can see that we’ve averaged 1,800 recommendations a year with an average 80% implementation rate between fiscal years 2010-2015. This adds … Continue reading

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Checking Up on Charities in This Season of Giving

Holiday giving can take many forms, including charitable donations. Charities provide critical services to people in need and, in return, those organizations don’t pay taxes—as long as they follow certain rules. With the holiday season upon us, today’s WatchBlog focuses … Continue reading

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Blowing the Whistle on Underpaid Taxes (infographic)

Since 2011, whistleblowers have helped the IRS collect almost $2 billion in taxes that may have otherwise gone uncollected. This money helps reduce the estimated $450 billion tax gap—the difference between taxes owed and those paid on time. Moreover, qualifying … Continue reading

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Designing and Implementing Federal User Fees

Navigating the federal budget can stump even the savviest of wonks. One of the things that complicates federal budgeting is the variety of ways the federal government collects money. Today’s WatchBlog examines one significant, if lesser known, source of federal … Continue reading

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Effects of IRS Challenges on Taxpayers

For most people, today is the last day to file your taxes. IRS has faced many challenges this filing season, including finding better ways to help taxpayers, combating identity theft refund fraud, and navigating new health insurance tax reporting requirements—while … Continue reading

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AskGAOLive: Tax Filing and Tax Fraud

With the tax filing season in full swing, IRS is processing  tax returns and providing a range of related services for tens of millions of taxpayers. At the same time, fraudsters are busy filing fraudulent returns using legitimate taxpayers’ identifying information … Continue reading

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