GAO Questions IRS Case Selection Process for Collections

The Internal Revenue Service’s Automated Collection System lacks key controls for selecting which delinquent tax cases to pursue, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. The IRS's ACS is one of the main means for pursuing taxpayers who have failed to fully pay their taxes or file their tax return in a timely manner, the GAO noted. However, the collections staff has fallen victim to budget cuts. From fiscal years 2012 through 2014, ACS staff has declined 20 percent while the number of unresolved collection cases at year-end has increased 21 percent. Given those trends, the GAO noted, the IRS needs to make informed decisions about the collection cases it pursues to ensure the program is meeting its objectives and mission. The ACS has a multistep, automated process to prioritise and select cases of unpaid taxes and unfilled tax returns to pursue. It assesses cases to determine the order to work on cases based on the IRS's collection program priorities, the Read More