TREASURY INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR TAX ADMINISTRATION

 

 

Improvements Have Been Made to Monitor Employers That Use Professional Employer Organizations, but More Can Be Done

 

 

 

September 19, 2007

 

Reference Number:  2007-30-169

 

 

This report has cleared the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration disclosure review process and information determined to be restricted from public release has been redacted from this document.

 

Redaction Legend:

1 = Tax Return/Return Information

Phone Number   |  202-927-7037

Email Address   |  Bonnie.Heald@tigta.treas.gov

Web Site           |  http://www.tigta.gov

 

September 19, 2007

 

 

MEMORANDUM FOR COMMISSIONER, SMALL BUSINESS/SELF-EMPLOYED DIVISION

 

FROM:                            Michael R. Phillips /s/ Michael R. Phillips

                                         Deputy Inspector General for Audit

 

SUBJECT:                    Final Audit Report – Improvements Have Been Made to Monitor Employers That Use Professional Employer Organizations, but More Can Be Done (Audit # 200630027)

 

This report presents the results of our review of the efforts the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is making to address compliance of Professional Employer Organizations (hereafter referred to as a PEO or an Organization).  The overall objectives of the review were to determine the steps the IRS is taking to address PEOs that default on paying employment taxes and to determine what can be done to improve compliance tracking for those businesses that terminate their use of these Organizations.

Impact on the Taxpayer

A PEO may enter into contracts with numerous companies (clients) and is responsible for paying employment taxes on wages paid to leased employees.  If the Organization fails to pay these employment taxes, large tax underpayments can occur in a short time span because of the large number of employees that are affected.  If the Organization defaults on paying the employment taxes, it usually does not have significant assets to collect against because it is only a service company.  The IRS’ only recourse may be to collect the amounts due from clients of the Organizations, which could result in significant additional expense for the clients who paid fees to the Organizations to cover the costs of payroll taxes and subsequently must pay again.

Synopsis

Current regulations do not protect clients when PEOs default on paying employment taxes.  In many States, these Organizations provide a financial instrument to protect the State and the client against loss; 22 States have requirements for the PEOs to be bonded.  However, the Federal Government currently does not require bonding of PEOs.

In March 2006, the House of Representatives proposed in H.R. 4985,[1] certain requirements for PEOs to become certified.  Besides requiring the posting of a bond, this bill proposed that an independent certified public accountant review the Federal employment tax payments of each Organization to ensure it had withheld and made deposits of all taxes.  Once a year, the certified public accountant would also report whether the certified Organization’s financial statements are presented fairly, in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.  Without regulations such as these, clients of PEOs and the Federal Government are both at increased risk.  Instances of Organizations defrauding their clients are becoming more prevalent.  The following are recent examples:

  • On December 7, 2004, the Chief Executive Officer of a large PEO pled guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States by underreporting and underpaying in excess of $51 million in Federal employment taxes to the IRS.  On January 7, 2005, the former Chief Operating Officer also pled guilty to the same charges.  The objective was to avoid alerting the IRS to the multimillion dollar underpayment of Federal employment taxes by filing fraudulent quarterly employment tax returns.
  • The New York Law Journal, dated July 17, 2003, discusses the prosecution of the president of a PEO that, during a period of fewer than 2 years, failed to pay over to the IRS more than $13 million in payroll taxes for more than 6,000 employees leased to over 100 businesses.[2]

At the beginning of this review, the IRS was unable to specifically link businesses with their PEOs.  As a result, it could not differentiate between employers that had become noncompliant and were not paying their employment taxes and those that had begun using an Organization. 

In 2005, the Office of Taxpayer Burden Reduction of the Small Business/Self-Employed Division convened a task force to study the use of Employer/Payer Appointment of Agent (Form 2678).[3]  The task force determined Form 2678 was not being used to its full potential and recommended changes to the way the Form is processed.  It implemented improvements in the way Form 2678 is designed and processed subsequent to our review.  We agree with the corrective actions taken by the task force; they are an important step in getting this compliance issue under control.

Recommendations

We recommended the Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, and the IRS Office of Chief Counsel work with the Office of Tax Policy in the Department of the Treasury to (1) consider a legislative proposal requiring all current and future PEOs to become certified, which would include posting a bond for payment of taxes; and (2) explore all options, including use of the revised Form 2678, to establish accurate links between the PEOs and their clients.  The Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, should also fully implement the changes proposed by the task force requiring the Employer’s QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return (Form 941) to list clients, and ensure outreach efforts are adequate to sufficiently inform taxpayers of the potential risks of using a PEO, which include remaining liable for employment taxes left unpaid by the PEOs for employees used by the taxpayer.

Response

IRS management agreed with the recommendations and will work with the Office of Tax Policy in the Department of the Treasury to consider a legislative proposal applicable to PEOs addressing certification and bonding requirements and other requirements such as reviews of quarterly tax payments and annual financial reviews.  The IRS will also work with the Department of the Treasury to explore all options to establish links between PEOs and their clients.  The Director, Specialty Programs, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, will explore a proposal for PEOs to provide a list of every client whose wages the organization is reporting to the IRS and will work to develop a mechanism requiring this information.  The Director, Communications, Liaison and Disclosure, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, will develop an outreach initiative to small business/industry groups that addresses employment tax obligations when the services of a PEO are used.  Management’s complete response to the draft report is included as Appendix VI.

Copies of this report are also being sent to the IRS managers affected by the report recommendations.  Please contact me at (202) 622-6510 if you have questions or Daniel R. Devlin, Assistant Inspector General for Audit (Small Business and Corporate Programs), at (202) 622-8500.

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Background

Results of Review

Current Regulations Do Not Protect Clients When Professional Employer Organizations Default on Paying Employment Taxes

Recommendations 1:

The Internal Revenue Service Is Taking Actions to Improve Tracking of Employers That Use the Services of a Professional Employer Organization

Recommendations 2 through 4:

Appendices

Appendix I – Detailed Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

Appendix II – Major Contributors to This Report

Appendix III – Report Distribution List

Appendix IV – Revised Employer/Payer Appointment of Agent (Form 2678)

Appendix V – Schedule ___ (Form 941) for Aggregate Filers: Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return (DRAFT)

Appendix VI – Management’s Response to the Draft Report

 

 

Abbreviations

 

IRS

Internal Revenue Service

PEO

Professional Employer Organization

 

 

Background

 

Tax compliance by Professional Employer Organizations (hereafter referred to as a PEO or an Organization) is a growing area of risk.  These Organizations began operating in the early 1980s.  In this industry, PEOs (also called employee leasing companies) contract with client companies to handle the management of critical human resources and assume some of the employment responsibilities normally handled by their client companies.  This includes hiring some or all of the client companies’ employees whose services are then leased back to the client companies (Figure 1 presents the graphical relationship).

According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations:  

The Professional Employer Organization relationship involves a contractual allocation and sharing of employer responsibilities between the Professional Employer Organization and the client.  This shared employment relationship is called co-employment . . .  When evaluating the employer role of either the Professional Employer Organization or the client, the facts and circumstances of each employer obligation should be examined separately, because neither party alone is responsible for performing all of the obligations of employment.  Each party will be solely responsible for certain obligations of employment, while both parties will share responsibility for other obligations.

Figure 1:  Relationship of the Professional Employer Organizations, Clients, and Employees

Figure 1 was removed due to its size.  To see Figure 1, please go to the Adobe PDF version of the report on the TIGTA Public Web Page.[4]

 

A PEO may enter into contracts with numerous companies and is responsible for paying employment taxes on all the leased employees.  If the Organization fails to pay employment taxes on these leased employees, large tax underpayments can occur in a short time span because of the large number of employees that are affected.  If the Organization defaults on paying the employment taxes, it usually does not have significant assets to collect against because it is only a service company.  One criminal investigation determined an Organization owed the Federal Government approximately $50 million in unpaid taxes. 

Revenue Procedure 70-6[5] established procedures to be followed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and taxpayers in applying for authorization to perform acts required of employers under the Federal employment tax statutes.  Application for authorization as an agent to perform acts required of an employer should be (1) made in writing by the agent to the IRS campus[6] with whom the agent will file returns upon approval of the application, (2) accompanied by an Employer/Payer Appointment of Agent (Form 2678), and (3) executed by each employer for whom the agent is to act.  The employer should submit the properly executed Form 2678 to the agent, who will transmit it to the IRS with a written request for authority to act as the agent of such employer.  

This review was conducted at the Small Business/Self-Employed Division in Lanham, Maryland, during the period April 2006 through January 2007.  The audit was conducted in accordance with Government Auditing Standards.  Detailed information on our audit objectives, scope, and methodology is presented in Appendix I.  Major contributors to the report are listed in Appendix II.

 

Results of Review

 

Current Regulations Do Not Protect Clients When Professional Employer Organizations Default on Paying Employment Taxes

Discussions with IRS personnel and review of current regulations indicate the IRS may attempt to collect employment taxes from the clients of PEOs if the Organizations default on paying the employment taxes.  To get an indication of noncompliance by Organizations, we obtained data from the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing from 1 State, which indicated 3,118 client companies had ended their associations with 93 Organizations.  We reviewed a statistically valid sample of 64 tax records for 27 of these Organizations and determined 8 Organizations were not fully compliant in paying employment taxes.  These 8 PEOs owed approximately $38.4 million, and ****1****

Although employee leasing is a legitimate practice, it is subject to abuse, sometimes on a significant scale, when a PEO fails to remit payroll taxes to the IRS.

In the event a PEO defaults on paying the employment taxes, it usually does not have significant assets to collect against because it is only a service company.  The IRS’ only recourse may often be to collect the amounts due from clients of the Organization.  Unfortunately, this could result in significant additional expense for the clients who pay their payroll taxes to the IRS in addition to already paying fees to the Organization intended to cover those costs. 

In many States, PEOs provide a financial instrument to protect the State and the client against loss; currently, 22 States have requirements for Organizations to be bonded.  According to PEO Insider (a professional magazine for these Organizations), dated November 2003:[7]

Surety bonds, irrevocable bank letters of credit and certificates of deposit are used in the PEO industry to meet state registration and licensing requirements, to provide workers’ compensation policy collateral, to guarantee PEO performance of employer responsibilities, and for clients to guarantee payment of service fees.  . . . The most common use of surety bonds by PEOs continues to be to meet various state regulatory requirements.  Sometimes these bonds are compliance in nature, meaning the PEO must adhere to the states’ registration or licensing requirements.  In other instances, the bonds are posted so the PEO and its clients are not held jointly and severally liable for unemployment taxes.  In still other instances, the bonds are “deficiency bonds,” meaning the bond is required due to the PEO’s failure to pay certain taxes on time, poor financial performance, or failure to provide financial statements demonstrating certain equity levels.  . . . Qualifying for these bonds is not typically difficult . . .

The Federal Government currently does not require bonding of PEOs.  However, it does require bonding of some other types of taxpayers.  For example, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974[8] establishes a comprehensive scheme of fiduciary[9] duties and responsibilities that are designed to protect the benefits of the pension plan participants and their beneficiaries and to prescribe standards that may be enforced.  The fiduciaries have a duty to protect the pension plan assets and to administer and manage the plan and trust in a manner that protects the interests of the plan participants and beneficiaries.  Every fiduciary and every person who handles pension plan funds must be bonded.  The bonding rules are set forth in Department of Labor Reg. Sections 2580.412-1 through 2580.412-36.[10]

The duties of a PEO are similar to those of a fiduciary in many ways.  The Organization accepts from clients payments that are intended to cover employee wages, employer and employee portions of Federal income taxes, Social Security taxes, State taxes when applicable, and fringe benefits that may be offered through the Organization (e.g., a retirement plan).  The Organization is to control these funds and remit appropriate amounts to the Federal and State Governments. 

In March 2006, the House of Representatives proposed in H.R. 4985[11] certain requirements for PEOs to become certified.  Two of the requirements involved having the Organization post a bond for the payment of taxes and consent to having quarterly tax payment reviews as well as annual financial reviews.  Besides requiring the posting of a bond, this bill proposed that an independent certified public accountant review the Federal employment tax payments of each Organization to ensure it had withheld and made deposits of all taxes.  Once a year, the certified public accountant would also report whether the certified Organization’s financial statements are presented fairly, in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. 

According to the New York Law Journal, dated July 2003, “In addition to prosecuting the operators of employee leasing companies who abscond with payroll taxes, the IRS has recently begun to seek and obtain civil injunctive relief against such companies, placing them into receivership, freezing their assets and prohibiting their owners from operating similar services.”[12]

However, without regulations such as those discussed above, clients of PEOs and the Federal Government are both at increased risk.  Instances of Organizations defrauding their clients are becoming more prevalent.  The following are recent examples:

  • On December 7, 2004, the Chief Executive Officer of a large PEO pled guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States by underreporting and underpaying in excess of $51 million in Federal employment taxes to the IRS.  On January 7, 2005, the former Chief Operating Officer also pled guilty to the same charges.  The objective was to avoid alerting the IRS to the multimillion dollar underpayment of Federal employment taxes by filing fraudulent quarterly employment tax returns.
  • The New York Law Journal, dated July 17, 2003, discusses the prosecution of the president of a PEO that, during a period of fewer than 2 years, failed to pay over to the IRS more than $13 million in payroll taxes for more than 6,000 employees leased to over 100 businesses.

Recommendation

Recommendation 1:  The Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, and the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, should work with the Office of Tax Policy in the Department of the Treasury to consider a legislative proposal requiring all current and future PEOs to meet the requirements for becoming “certified,” which would include posting a bond for the payment of taxes and may include some of the other requirements outlined in H.R. 4985, such as independent quarterly tax payment reviews as well as annual financial reviews.

Management’s Response:  IRS management agreed with this recommendation and will work with the Office of Tax Policy in the Department of the Treasury to consider a legislative proposal applicable to PEOs, including certification and bonding requirements, and other requirements such as reviews of quarterly tax payments and annual financial reviews.

The Internal Revenue Service Is Taking Actions to Improve Tracking of Employers That Use the Services of a Professional Employer Organization

We identified 761 corporations that had (1) filed income tax returns for fiscal years ending between February 2003 and March 2006 with significantly large amounts of income and/or wages, (2) stopped filing employment taxes, and (3) continued to file income tax returns.[13]  We selected a random sample of 59 of these taxpayer entities and reviewed their tax records to determine if the businesses had indications that employment tax returns should have been filed. 

Our review showed 34 (58 percent) of these 59 taxpayer entities reported significant salaries and/or wages during the period of our review, indicating the businesses potentially should have filed Federal employment tax returns.  It is possible these businesses used the services of a PEO.  However, at the time of our review, IRS recordkeeping did not indicate such a relationship existed. 

To administer employment tax laws and to effectively use scarce compliance resources, the IRS needs to be able to identify businesses that begin using the services of a PEO, as well as when businesses terminate the use of those services.  Without this ability, the IRS may not take appropriate actions against businesses that do not pay employment taxes or may unnecessarily burden taxpayers that are paying through an Organization.

The IRS has taken actions to improve the tracking of businesses that use the services of a PEO.  However, it is still unable to identify all Organizations and the businesses that use them.  Currently, the IRS uses Form 2678 to record an employer’s (business’) use of third-party employment companies and receives approximately 30,000 of these Forms per year.  It stores these Forms at two IRS campuses; however, prior to January 2007, these Forms were not transcribed or stored in a searchable order.

In 2005, the Office of Taxpayer Burden Reduction of the Small Business/Self-Employed Division convened a task force to study the use of Form 2678; it determined the Form was not being used to its full potential and recommended changes to the way the Form is processed.  The task force implemented improvements in the way Form 2678 is designed and processed subsequent to our review, including: 

  • Designating specific action codes[14] to show receipt of Form 2678 by the IRS and the relationship between the parties (i.e., establishment of an authorization or termination). 
  • Redesigning Form 2678 (effective May 2007) using a “plain language” format for simplicity.  The new Form 2678 requires both parties to sign (see Appendix IV). 
  • Proposing that a specific schedule be attached to the Employer’s QUARTERLY Federal Tax Returns (Form 941) filed by each PEO.  The schedule is to be filed by the PEO with the Forms 941 and must list every taxpayer on whose behalf the PEO is filing (see Appendix V). 
  • Implementing a process to prevent Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Returns (Form 940) filed by a PEO for individual clients from “opening” an erroneous Form 941 filing requirement for each client (this requirement is satisfied by the PEO’s filing of an aggregate Form 941 for all its clients) and burdening clients with erroneous Form 941 Tax Delinquency Investigation notices.

We agree that the corrective actions taken by this task force are an important step in improving internal controls over this compliance issue.

Recommendations

Recommendation 2:  The Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, and the Office of Chief Counsel should work with the Department of the Treasury to explore all options, including use of the revised Form 2678, to establish accurate links between the PEOs and their clients. 

Management’s Response:  IRS management agreed with this recommendation and will work with the Department of the Treasury to explore all options, including use of the revised Form 2678 or a similar form, to establish accurate links between the PEOs and their clients. 

Recommendation 3:  The Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, should fully implement the proposal that Form 941 require attachment of a specific schedule filed by a PEO that will list every taxpayer on whose behalf the Organization is filing.

Management’s Response:  IRS management agreed with this recommendation.  The Director, Specialty Programs, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, will explore a proposal to list every client whose wages the Organization is reporting and will work to develop a mechanism requiring this information.

Recommendation 4:  The Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, should ensure outreach efforts are adequate to sufficiently inform clients of the potential risks of using a PEO, which include remaining liable for payment of employment taxes left unpaid by the PEO on employees used by the client.

Management’s Response:  IRS management agreed with this recommendation.  The Director, Communications, Liaison and Disclosure, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, will develop an outreach initiative to small business/industry groups which provides a key message and talking points to address employment tax obligations when the services of a PEO are used.

 

Appendix I

 

Detailed Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

 

The overall objectives of the review were to determine the steps the IRS is taking to address PEOs (also referred to as an Organization) that default on paying employment taxes and to determine what can be done to improve compliance tracking for those businesses that terminate their use of these Organizations.  To accomplish our objectives, we:

I.                   Determined efforts underway by the IRS, the Department of the Treasury, and Congress to address problems with certain third-party payers of employment taxes, such as PEOs.

A.    Contacted the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Congressional/Media Liaison to identify pending changes in the Internal Revenue Code covering liability of taxes owed by these Organizations.

B.     Analyzed pending legislation to determine whether liability is clearly stated between the Organization and employee-leasing client.

C.     Reviewed IRS efforts to improve the functionality of Employer/Payer Appointment of Agent (Form 2678).

D.    Reviewed IRS efforts to improve the recording of Organization clients using Employer’s QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return (Form 941).

II.                Identified employers that may have hired PEOs to lease employees.

A.    Prepared computer requests to identify taxpayers that have stopped filing Forms 941, or whose wages paid are significantly reduced, and are still in business.

1.      From the Data Center Warehouse,[15] identified the population of 761 taxpayers who filed Form 941 that had stopped submitting the Forms by extracting those taxpayers who had used Computer Condition Code “F,” indicating the filing of the final return and had income and/or wages of $1 million or more. (This amount was determined by the audit team as significant, but represents no IRS tolerance.)

2.      From the Data Center Warehouse, identified the population of 24,935 taxpayers whose “Total Compensation” had decreased by 50 percent for any period between the first and fourth quarters of Calendar Year 2005. 

3.      Sampled the returns identified in the computer requests for Steps II.A.1. and II.A.2. to assess the accuracy of the data.[16] 

4.      We validated the reliability of the data identified in Step II.A.1. by reviewing a randomly selected sample of 59 cases to ensure the required filing requirements matched the tax returns filed by the taxpayers.

5.      We validated the reliability of the data identified in Step II.A.2. by reviewing a sample of 62 cases selected to ensure proper calculations were performed. 

III.             Evaluated the filing and paying compliance of employers identified in Step II by selecting a statistically valid sample of 59 employers from a population of 761 and determining whether there was a compliance problem indicated.  

A.    Analyzed the sample selected and determined whether all required tax returns had been timely submitted to the IRS for processing.  The required returns were determined from the forms indicated on the employer’s entity module.[17]

B.     Analyzed the same sample and determined whether all required payments had been made and made on time.

C.     Determined what efforts, if any, the IRS could take to reduce the identified compliance problems.

IV.             Used PEO data supplied by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing for one State.  The State providing the data used in this Step was selected because no cost was associated with obtaining the data.  Another State was also contacted for data; however, the cost of the data would have been significant.  We received data showing a total of 3,118 employers had ended their relationships with 93 Organizations.  We reviewed a randomly chosen statistically valid sample of 64 tax records for 27 of the Organizations.[18] 

A.    Identified the Organization name by using the Integrated Data Retrieval System.[19]

B.     Identified the clients that have ended their relationship with the Organization by finding those taxpayers who had a date indicating the end of the Organization relationship in the data received.

C.     Determined the Employer Identification Number of the client by using the Integrated Data Retrieval System.

D.    Determined the filing requirements of the taxpayers identified in Step IV. B. using the Integrated Data Retrieval System.  We also determined whether the tax returns may have been filed by a parent company.

E.     From the Organization data supplied by the State, quantified the number of taxpayers, the number of Organizations, the number of taxpayers ending their relationship with the Organization, and the number of clients that had began the use of another Organization.

 

Appendix II

 

Major Contributors to This Report

 

Daniel R. Devlin, Assistant Inspector General for Audit (Small Business and Corporate Programs)

Kyle R. Andersen, Director

L. Jeff Anderson, Audit Manager

Stanley M. Pinkston, Lead Auditor

Roy E. Thompson, Auditor

Ali A. Vaezazizi, Auditor

Robert J. Carpenter, Senior Information Technology Specialist

 

Appendix III

 

Report Distribution List

 

Acting Commissioner  C

Office of the Commissioner – Attn:  Acting Chief of Staff  C

Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement  SE

Deputy Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division  SE:S

Director, Examination, Small Business/Self-Employed Division  SE:S:E

Director, Taxpayer Burden Reduction  SE:S:TBR

Chief Counsel  CC

National Taxpayer Advocate  TA

Director, Office of Legislative Affairs  CL:LA

Director, Office of Program Evaluation and Risk Analysis  RAS:O

Office of Internal Control  OS:CFO:CPIC:IC

Audit Liaison:  Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division  SE:S

 

Appendix IV

 

Revised Employer/Payer Appointment of Agent (Form 2678)

 

The form was removed due to its size.  To see the form, please go to the Adobe PDF version of the report on the TIGTA Public Web Page.

 

 

Figure 1 was removed due to its Appendix V

 

Schedule ____ (Form 941) for Aggregate Filers: Employers Quarterly Federal Tax Return

(DRAFT)

The form was removed due to its size.  To see the form, please go to the Adobe PDF version of the report on the TIGTA Public Web Page.

 

 

Appendix VI

 

Management’s Response to the Draft Report

 

The response was removed due to its size.  To see the response, please go to the Adobe PDF version of the report on the TIGTA Public Web Page.



[1] Small Business Efficiency Act of 2006, 109th Congress (March 16, 2006).

[2] The New York Law Journal, Volume 230—NO. 12; Thursday, July 17, 2003.

[3] Application for authorization as an agent to perform acts required of an employer should be (1) made in writing by the agent to the IRS campus with whom the agent will file returns upon approval of the application and (2) accompanied by Form 2678.  The employer should submit the properly executed Form 2678 to the agent, who will transmit it to the IRS with a written request for authority to act as the agent of such employer.  The campuses are the data processing arm of the IRS.  They process paper and electronic submissions, correct errors, and forward data to the Computing Centers for analysis and posting to taxpayer accounts. 

[5] 1970-1 C.B. 420; 1970 IRB LEXIS 772.  A Revenue Procedure is an official statement by the IRS about the practices and procedures to be followed by taxpayers or by the IRS.

[6] The campuses are the data processing arm of the IRS.  They process paper and electronic submissions, correct errors, and forward data to the Computing Centers for analysis and posting to taxpayer accounts.

[7] PEO Insider, “PEO Financial Assurance Options Update,” November 2003.

[8] Pub. L. No. 93-406, 88 Stat. 829 (codified as amended in scattered sections of 5 U.S.C., 18 U.S.C., 26 U.S.C., 29 U.S.C., and 42 U.S.C.).  This Federal law sets minimum standards for pension plans in private industry.

[9] A fiduciary is one often in a position of authority who obligates himself or herself to act on behalf of another (as in managing money or property) and assumes a duty to act in good faith and with care, candor, and loyalty in fulfilling the obligation; one (as an agent) having a fiduciary duty to another, Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, 1996.  

[10] These regulations were originally issued under Section 13 of the Welfare and Pension Plans Disclosure Act of 1958 (72 Statute 997, August 28, 1958), which was superseded by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.  The Department of Labor simply reissued its Regulations under Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 Section 412.

[11] Small Business Efficiency Act of 2006, 109th Congress (March 16, 2006).

[12] The New York Law Journal, Volume 230—NO. 12; Thursday, July 17, 2003.

[13] From a population of taxpayers filing 1,895,085 Employer’s QUARTERLY Federal Tax Returns (Form 941) containing indicators that this was the business’ final return, we identified 761 taxpayers that had filed a U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return (Form 1120) and reported net income and/or salary or wages greater than $1,000,000.  (This amount was determined by the audit team as significant but represents no IRS tolerance.)

[14] Action codes are used to designate an action to be taken on a taxpayer account.

[15] The Data Center Warehouse is a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration repository of IRS data used for analysis.

[16] We used a statistically valid sample of 59 from a population of 761 in expectation of estimating the number of taxpayers in our population that had stopped filing their employment returns because they were possibly using a PEO.  We used a 95 percent confidence level, an expected error rate of 20 percent, and a precision level of +10 percent.  

[17] The entity module will provide name, address, and other entity information from the input of the Taxpayer Identification Number.

[18] We used a statistically valid sample of 64 from a population of 3,118 in expectation of estimating the number of PEOs in our population that were not fully compliant in paying employment taxes.  We used a 95 percent confidence level, an expected error rate of 20 percent, and a precision level of +10 percent.

[19] The IRS computer system capable of retrieving or updating stored information; it works in conjunction with a taxpayer’s account records.