On January 31, 2017, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released its final report on the results of the 2016 tax filing season. As of early May 2016, the IRS had received 139.6 million individual tax returns, over 88% of which were filed electronically. Almost $277 billion was issued related to 101 million refunds. However, TIGTA identified several areas in which claims and credits were inadequately substantiated.
For instance, of the sample of tax returns TIGTA reviewed regarding the Health Coverage Tax Credit, over $20.8 million claims were processed, 6.8% of which contained errors. The IRS also experienced problems related to processing returns claiming the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit, which resulted in the erroneous denial of $1.2 million in such credits. Computer programming errors also failed to convert $9.2 million worth of refund deposit requests to paper checks as required.
The downward trend in taxpayers receiving requested assistance from the IRS continued. TIGTA noted a 20% decrease in the number of taxpayers assisted in 2016 as compared to 2015. However, in 2016, the IRS answered 69% of calls from taxpayers, an increase from 37.7% answered in 2015.
For the complete report and the IRS’ response to TIGTA’s suggestions, click here [PDF].