IRS' Accounts Receivable Inventory

Gao ID: T-GGD-90-19 February 20, 1990

GAO discussed the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) growing accounts receivable inventory. GAO found that IRS increased resources for collection activities and undertook numerous internal studies and projects to slow its growing inventory, but its internal controls failed to ensure that taxes were properly accounted for and collected. GAO also found that: (1) IRS lacked very basic management information to identify the extent of delinquent taxes; (2) the IRS inventory grew three times faster than collections of delinquent taxes and twice as fast as total net tax receipts; (3) the IRS collection strategy lacked the proper structure to reduce the growth in accounts receivable; and (4) IRS needs to collect unpaid taxes as quickly and equitably as possible, and focus on IRS-wide efforts to improve prevention, detection, and collection of delinquent taxes.

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