GAO Reports  
GGD-95-5 October 07, 1994

Tax Administration: Continuing Problems Affect
Otherwise Successful 1994 Filing Season

The 1994 tax filing season was successful in many respects. The number of returns filed increased after an unexpected decline in 1993, and more taxpayers used alternatives to the traditional paper filing method. Tax refunds were generally processed accurately and issued promptly, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) improved the accuracy of its return processing, reducing the amount of rework. IRS computers generally worked well with minimal downtime. Taxpayers looking for tax forms and publications at IRS walk-in sites could reasonably expect to find them, and taxpayers calling IRS' toll-free telephone lines with tax law questions could generally expect to get accurate answers. However, there were some significant problems. The number of IRS-detected fraudulent refund claims continued the steady increase that has troubled the agency for the past several years. The ability of taxpayers to reach IRS by telephone has been a problem for several years and has degraded even further in 1994. The earned income credit was the source of many errors by taxpayers and tax practitioners preparing returns.

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