The Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released its interim report on the 2019 federal tax filing season. As of March 1, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had received over 59 million tax returns and issued approximately $142 billion in refunds on over 46 million of those returns. A vast majority - 95 percent - of filers e-filed their returns this season.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently reported on self-employment tax compliance in light of the growth of the gig economy. The IRS last estimated that self-employment taxes accounted for $69 billion of the annual tax gap. TIGTA reviewed Forms 1099-K for tax years 2012 through 2015 issued by the top nine payer companies participating in the gig economy. Over 260,000 instances of potentially underreported payments were identified, and the number of discrepancies increased 237 percent from 2012 to 2015. Due to the large volume of discrepancies identified, the IRS' Automated Underreporter (AUR) program declined to work on 59 percent of total cases, including over 2,800 taxpayer cases in which there was potential underreporting for all four years of Forms 1099-K reviewed. The total potential payments related to those taxpayers was $2.7 billion.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released its biannual independent assessment of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS') private debt collection program, which became a requirement under the 2015 FAST Act. According to TIGTA, the private collection agencies are performing well with respect to procedural accuracy and professionalism. Customer satisfaction scores are generally in the low- to mid-90 percent range. As of September 2018, the private collectors had been assigned more than 700,000 taxpayer accounts and collected approximately $88.8 million from the balances owed.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released its final report on the 2018 filing season just before the federal government shutdown. As of May 4, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) received over 140 million tax returns, 89% of which were e-filed. The IRS issued over 101 million refunds in 2018, totaling nearly $282 billion.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently audited the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS's) SS-8 Program, which addresses worker classification issues. The standard options have been either employee or independent contractor. However, in recent years, classification has become more complicated with the emergence of the "gig economy," defined by its reliance on short-term contracts and freelance work.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently reviewed the Internal Revenue Serivce's (IRS's) program on Collection Due Process requests, and found it to have similar room for improvement as compared to TIGTA's last review. For instance, the program could be more accurate in classifying requests and providing the correct type of hearing to taxpayers. The IRS also needs to improve how it handles taxpayer requests initially sent to the wrong location, as well as how it calculates statute expiration dates. For more information on the results of this review, click here.
An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) supervisor in the Central District of California, Leslie Williams, was arrested this week on charges of theft of government property and making false statements. Williams allegedly embezzled federal funds and lied to obtain death benefit payments related to her former spouse. She continued to lie about her relationship to her deceased former spouse when interviewed in 2017 by special agents for the Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration (TIGTA). She was released on a $10,000 appearance bond and had to surrender her passport; Williams could serve up to 10 years in prison for the charges.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report providing interim results for the 2018 federal tax filing season. As of March 2, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had received approximately 61 million tax returns and issued over 48 million refunds totaling almost $148 billion.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released a report finding that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has failed to notify the majority of individuals they found to be victims of employment identity theft. When an identity thief uses another individual's information to obtain employment, the victim may have taxes computed based on income they did not personally earn, and may experience other difficulties. The IRS has a computer-based process to notify victims of the issue, but due to a programming error related to a decision to notify only newly identified victims, the IRS failed to notify over 450,000 individuals for processing year 2017. In addition, over 15,000 individuals who did receive notice (13.5 percent of the total group notified) were not actually victims of employment identity theft.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) have already issued warnings for the new tax filing season regarding individuals who impersonate IRS employees and demand money from taxpayers. Since October 2013, TIGTA has received reports of threatening phone calls made by scammers in every U.S. state. California taxpayers have been most affected by this type of scam, losing over $10 million to this crime.