Tax Administration

IRS' Implementation of the 1987 Revenue Initiative Gao ID: GGD-88-16 December 2, 1987

In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) efforts to increase its enforcement staff by 2,500.

GAO found that: (1) IRS increased its staffing level by about 700 in 1986, which was 918 less than the increase Congress authorized for fiscal year 1987; (2) this shortfall was the result of a management decision to shift personnel from enforcement to tax return processing, thereby restricting officials from hiring new personnel to fill existing vacancies; (3) IRS believes that the timing of the supplemental appropriation and its inability to offer competitive salaries to college graduates have hampered its efforts to hire additional revenue agents; (4) the lack of experienced agents to train newly recruited personnel and the changes in the Tax Reform Act of 1986 will hamper the revenue agent training program; (5) IRS plans to add about 3,000 computers to better equip agents for its 3-year revenue initiative; and (6) IRS estimated that the staffing level increases would generate $593 million in additional tax revenues.

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