The Washington Post

GAO report: IRS could boost revenues with more efficient enforcement


A report last month from the Government Accountability Office said the Internal Revenue Service could increase its collections by “hundreds of millions of dollars per year” by adjusting the way it does enforcement. 

The analysis found that some IRS reviews are more efficient and effective than others. For example, “field exams,” which involve face-to-face meetings with taxpayers, cost more than eight times as much as the “correspondence exams” that do not require such interactions, the report said.

The GAO concluded that “a hypothetical shift of a small share of resources (about $124 million) from exams of tax returns in less productive groups shown in the figure to exams in the more productive groups could have increased direct revenue by $1 billion over the $5.5 billion per year IRS actually collected.” 

The report said the IRS should take a closer look at which of its enforcement exams produce the best cost-benefit ratios and consider adjusting the way it allocates resources for such reviews. 

For more federal news from The Washington Post, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page,and PostPolitics.

Follow Josh Hicks on Twitter or subscribe his Facebook page.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Making family dinnertime happen
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
Play Videos
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Learn to make this twice-baked cookie
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
Play Videos
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
The art of tortilla-making
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Circus nuns: These sisters are no act
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
Cool off with sno-balls, a New Orleans treat
Next Story
Josh Hicks · January 9, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.