GAO audits the IRS

  • 15 May 2019
  • NormanL

No one likes to be the subject of an IRS audit. But the IRS itself gets audited every year by the federal government's internal watchdog, the GAO, to make sure the agency is performing its duties as required.

The GAO's most recent audit shows the IRS has some problems that need fixing:

During its audit of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) fiscal years 2018 and 2017 financial statements, GAO identified continuing control deficiencies related to IRS's accounting for federal taxes receivable and other unpaid assessments that collectively represent a significant deficiency in IRS's internal control over unpaid tax assessments as of September 30, 2018. GAO also identified new control deficiencies in IRS's internal control over financial reporting that although not considered a material weakness or significant deficiency, nonetheless, warrant IRS management's attention. These control deficiencies concern IRS's

* nationwide strategy for safeguarding taxpayer receipts and associated information,

* physical security policies and procedures,

* review of visitor access logs,

* transmission of taxpayer receipts,

* designations of unit security representatives,

* review of automated tax refund information prior to certification for payment,

* review of refund schedule numbers for manual refunds, and

* review of suspicious and questionable tax returns in Examination.

The GAO noted the IRS had cleaned up some of its earlier issues, so there's been progress. But so much more needs to be done::

IRS currently has 37 GAO recommendations to address—the previous 25 open recommendations and the 12 new recommendations GAO is making in this report.

All of this is to keep the IRS in line with its own regulations on how it's supposed to operate. To read the entire GAO report, click here.