Improved Planning for Developing and Selecting IRS Criminal Tax Cases Can Strengthen Enforcement of Federal Tax Laws

Gao ID: GGD-80-9 November 6, 1979

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must use its agents as efficiently as possible to carry out a balanced effective enforcement program. It tries to balance cases among all types of violations in many income tax brackets, occupations, and geographical locations. This report discussed the need for better planning to enhance the productivity of criminal case development and selection activities.

The IRS needs to improve planning by clearly defining its national strategy and establishing additional, more specific goals for detecting and deterring tax fraud. The planning process needed more input from the Department of Justice and from U.S. attorneys. These groups carry out IRS recommendations of prosecution. Cases selected for detailed investigation required substantial resource expenditures, and many of those selected did not lead to prosecution. Improved planning could provide employees better and more consistent training on referrals and could afford managers better guidance for initiating and conducting information-gathering efforts. In addition, improved planning could develop criteria against which the potential value of information items would be measured.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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