TIGTA Seal graphic

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


September 26, 2012
TIGTA - TIGTA - 2012-48
Contact: David Barnes
(202) 622-3062
David.barnes@tigta.treas.gov
TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov

Business Taxpayers Were Not Always Timely Contacted When They Missed Tax Payments

WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) took positive steps to communicate and educate business taxpayers about a new regulation that took effect in January 2011; however, IRS revenue officers did not always timely contact those taxpayers when they were not in compliance with that regulation.

This is the finding of a new audit report released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

TIGTA conducted this audit to assess the IRS’s management of the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) and the Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) Alert Program.

The EFTPS is a free tax-payment system provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It allows business and individual taxpayers to pay their Federal taxes electronically via the Internet or telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The IRS has an FTD Alert Program to identify, at an early stage, business taxpayers who have fallen behind in their tax deposits. FTD Alerts provide an early opportunity for the IRS to assist and educate business taxpayers before additional liabilities accumulate and the growing debt becomes difficult to resolve.

TIGTA found that the IRS took positive steps to communicate and educate business taxpayers about the electronic deposit regulation that took effect on January 1, 2011. However, IRS revenue officers did not always contact business taxpayers in a timely manner after receiving FTD Alert assignments.

“I am pleased by the IRS’s action to communicate and educate business taxpayers about this new regulation, but the Service must then ensure that revenue officers contact all business taxpayers about problems in a timely manner, since business taxpayers who are not contacted timely accrue more interest and penalties,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

TIGTA recommended that the IRS establish criteria for timely group manager assignment of FTD Alerts to revenue officers and emphasize to group managers the need to ensure that revenue officers contact business taxpayers within 15 calendar days of FTD Alert assignments. IRS officials agreed with TIGTA’s recommendations and said that they plan to take appropriate corrective actions.

Read the report.

###

Note: The difference between the date TIGTA issues an audit report to the Internal Revenue Service and the date TIGTA publicly releases the report is due to TIGTA's internal review process to ensure that public release is in compliance with Federal confidentiality laws.

A special plugin is required to view PDF documents. To obtain the free PDF reader, please visit the Adobe web site.