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GAO report: IRS could boost revenues with more efficient enforcement

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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. 

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

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Republicans debate tonight. The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
The Fix asks The State's political reporter where the most important region of the state is.
He says he could talk about Charleston, which represents a little bit of everything in the state has to offer from evangelicals to libertarians, and where Ted Cruz is raising more money than anywhere else. In a twist, Marco Rubio is drawing strong financial support from more socially conservative Upstate. That said, Donald Trump is bursting all the conventional wisdom in the state. So maybe the better answer to this question is, "Wherever Trump is."
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
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The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
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The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

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Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

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