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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release

June 22, 2009
Contact: Robert Sperling
(202) 622-6500

TIGTA Releases Annual IRS Compliance Trends Report

Despite some decreases in 2008, the overall level of compliance activities by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) remains higher than what occurred during the years following implementation of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98), according to a report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

According to the report, some collection function activities and results declined during 2008 after several years of improved results. The use of liens continued to increase, but the use of levies and seizures decreased during the year. Enforcement revenue collected also decreased, and the total dollar amount of uncollected liabilities increased.

The overall percentage of tax returns examined decreased by almost 3 percent; however, the overall percentage of tax returns examined was almost 12 percent higher than in 1999. The number of tax returns of individuals examined increased, with almost 82 percent conducted via correspondence examinations. The number of corporate tax returns examined increased by just over 1 percent, a decline of almost 23 percent since 1999.

"Continued effort to improve compliance is important for reducing the estimated $345 billion tax gap and maintaining the integrity of the voluntary compliance system," commented J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

TIGTA did not make any recommendations in the report, and the IRS did not issue any comments on a draft of the report.

To read the full report, including the scope and methodology, please visit www.tigta.gov.


Created by Congress in 1998, TIGTA's mission is to provide independent oversight of the IRS and protect its ability to timely and efficiently collect Federal taxes.


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