Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Treasury, Rossotti to Address Taxpayer Rights Violations

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Treasury, Rossotti to Address Taxpayer Rights Violations

Article excerpt

An IRS internal audit report published in January revealed that IRS district offices across the United States have improperly used revenue statistics and goals to evaluate revenue agents and bolster collections. Despite the fact that the Government Performance and Results Act requires the IRS to use performance measurements, IRS Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti said the report demonstrates that the agency "has put too much emphasis on revenue and other statistical goals and not enough on quality customer service and respect for taxpayer rights."

The report is the second of three reports requested by the former acting IRS commissioner and chief inspector to determine the validity of allegations that the IRS was violating taxpayer rights.

The report, which summarized the results of an internal investigation at both regional and national levels, including 12 district offices, concluded that IRS agents are heavily focused on management's priority of achieving enforcement goals. According to the report, "dollars collected" was the most important factor in setting program goals and evaluating program accomplishments, creating an atmosphere that "places taxpayer rights at risk." The report validates taxpayer testimony on taxpayer rights violations given before the Senate Finance Committee in September 1997. …

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