Category Archives: Tax Policy and Administration

Tackling the Tax Gap

Tax season is upon us, and many of us will soon be sitting down to figure out and pay our share. But this year, like every year, some taxpayers intentionally or inadvertently won’t fully pay what they owe. The difference … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , ,

Collecting Revenue on U.S. E-Cigarette Imports

Over the last decade, the use of traditional cigarettes in the United States has declined, while the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) has grown rapidly. We’ve previously reported that the federal government could not specifically track e-cigarette imports. However, U.S. … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

IRS: Taxpayer Tips Can Turn Into Cash

The Internal Revenue Service helps keep the federal government funded by enforcing tax laws and working to ensure that everybody pays their share. Nevertheless, every year some taxpayers—intentionally or inadvertently—overstate deductions, understate income, and don’t pay what they owe. The … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , ,

A Tax Reform State of Mind

The tax code is complex and can create burdens for people and companies. And change does not come often. The last time the tax code was overhauled was in 1986. So what (if anything) should be done to reform it? … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stopping Thieves from Stealing Tax Refunds

Want your refund right away? Well, fraudsters do too! For Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, today’s WatchBlog focuses on why identity theft refund fraud is a problem and what the IRS is doing to stop this fraud and help its … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

What You Should Know About the Earned Income Tax Credit

Do you know whether you’re eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit? For the EITC to work as Congress intended, it’s important that eligible taxpayers are aware of the credit and know how to properly claim it. One of the … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tackling the Tax Code – How the IRS Communicates with Taxpayers

The tax code is complex, so taxpayers rely on the IRS to help them understand and follow the law. But the IRS publishes thousands of guidance documents a year, so where should taxpayers start? As we near the end of … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Achieving Financial Benefits—One Action at a Time

Since 2011, we’ve outlined actions federal agencies and Congress can take to reduce fragmentation, overlap, and duplication in federal programs and activities—work that resulted in $56 billion in financial benefits to the federal government between fiscal years 2010 and 2015 … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

What You Need to Know about Tax Incentives and the Federal Budget (infographic)

The federal budget consists of revenue (mostly taxes, but also things like user fees and intragovernmental revolving funds) and spending. But not all spending looks the same. Spending through tax provisions—known as tax incentives or expenditures—is not as well-known as … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Stubborn Problem of Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud (podcast)

The Internal Revenue Service estimates that it paid out more than $3 billion in identity theft tax refund fraud in 2014—i.e., fraudsters using stolen identities to file taxes in someone else’s name, collecting tax refunds, and then disappearing. Jay McTigue, … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , ,