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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release

August 17, 2011
TIGTA - 2011-47
Contact: Karen Kraushaar
(202) 622-6500

TIGTA Report on IRS Compliance Trends: Implementation of New Tax Legislation Poses Challenge

WASHINGTON-Changes to the tax laws have posed a challenge to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which must maintain a quality workforce and enforce tax laws in an environment of changing tax legislation.

Those are the findings of "Trends in Compliance Activities Through Fiscal Year 2010," a review of IRS tax compliance statistics conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The review's overall objective was to provide a statistical analysis of Collection and Examination function activities.

TIGTA reported that the IRS workforce has continued to grow. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, the IRS hired more than 2,000 revenue agents and tax compliance officers, the largest hiring increase in the past five years. During FY 2010, hiring continued at an increased pace, with the addition of nearly 1,300 revenue agents and tax compliance officers. However, revenue officer hiring during FY 2009 and FY 2010 continues to face the challenge of keeping pace with attrition and workload.

During FY 2010, gross collections changed little from the previous year. TIGTA's statistical analysis found that gross collections held steady over 2009 at $2.3 trillion, while enforcement revenue collected and the number of examinations performed increased.

The report found that the IRS encountered many challenges in FY 2010, including a variety of tax provisions that were created, extended, or expanded. For example, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included 56 tax provisions. At least 42 of the 514 Affordable Care Act provisions added to or amended the Internal Revenue Code, and at least eight required the IRS to establish new operations.

"The IRS faced many challenges during FY 2010, including implementation of provisions related to new tax legislation," said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. "Taken together, revisions to these laws represent the largest set of tax law changes in 20 years."

TIGTA made no recommendations in this report, and although IRS officials were provided an opportunity to review the draft report, they did not provide any comments.

Read the report.


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