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GAO Audit of IRS 2009 Financials Identify Errors

Submitted by admin on Wed, 6/30/2010 - 12:00 am

The US Government Accountability Office has issued its audit report to the IRS commissioner, Douglas Shulman, on June 28th, 2010. In this report, the GAO has found many interesting things, a few of which are:

1. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) balances reported for taxes received did not match the related transactions, resulting in errors to the management and reliability of taxpayers’ accounts related to unpaid tax assessments.

2. The IRS did not always credit, or accurately credit Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TRFP) payments received from one taxpayer, to all related taxpayers as required by the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), resulting in errors in taxpayer accounts. Half of the penalty payments processed through the automated system required some manual intervention. These errors were the result of inadequate training.

3. The IRS did not always review duplicate refund transcripts, resulting in duplicate or erroneous refunds.

4. IRS employees did not always complete the annual mandatory briefing and training requirements in 2008 and 2009.

In short, the GAO made 41 recommendations to the IRS Commissioner Shulman to address the internal control and compliance issues. The IRS made a variety of accounting errors, the largest of which is the failure to record the receipt of a taxpayer’s $3 million dollar payment, and the $8 billion dollar discrepancy amongst two different internal accounting systems that track how much taxpayers owe.