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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release

July 29, 2010
TIGTA - 2010-40
Contact: Karen Kraushaar
(202) 622-6500

TIGTA Releases Report On IRS Compliance Trends

WASHINGTON - The economic downturn and an increasing number of taxpayers with complex tax issues contributed to a decline in revenue collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in fiscal year (FY) 2009, according to a report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

TIGTA's annual statistical analysis found that gross collections declined to $2.35 trillion in FY 2009 compared with $2.75 trillion in FY 2008. However, many other indicators showed mixed or positive results.

The IRS also collected fewer dollars on delinquent taxpayer accounts in FY 2009 while gross accounts receivable rose and more taxpayers' delinquent accounts were placed in a holding file for unassigned inventory. However, the IRS increased its use of collection enforcement tools and closed more investigations of delinquent taxpayers.

"It is understandable that the Internal Revenue Service is collecting less money, since the economic recovery is still a work in progress," said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. "Under these circumstances, continued efforts to improve compliance will be even more important to reducing the Tax Gap."

Compared to a slight decrease in FY 2008, the overall percentage of tax returns examined increased slightly during FY 2009, returning to approximately FY 2007 levels.

TIGTA did not make any recommendations in this report, and the IRS did not provide any comments on the draft report.


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