Website of the Month: Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

By Anders, Susan B. | The CPA Journal, June 2013 | Go to article overview

Website of the Month: Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration


Anders, Susan B., The CPA Journal


The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) provides independent oversight of 1RS activities in order to promote economy, efficiency, and integrity in tax law administration. Its homepage, http://www.treasury.gov /tigta, provides public access to highlights and reports resulting from TIGTA's audit and investigation activities. TIGTA also produces semiannual reports for Congress, press releases for the general public, and the Inspector General's written testimony before Congress. Its three major operational lines are audit, investigations, and inspections and evaluations; links located in a menu bar at the top of the homepage provide additional resources on these activities.

Office of Audit

The TIGTA Office of Audit provides independent review of the effectiveness of the 1RS's tax administration and serves to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse; in other words, it audits the 1RS, following procedures similar to revenue agents' examinations of taxpayers. The audit unit is divided into five program areas: management services and exempt organizations, security and information technology services, compliance and enforcement operations, returns processing and account services, and management planning and workforce development.

An annual audit plan is published each fiscal year to identify planned audits, organized according to "challenge areas." For fiscal year 2013, the challenge areas include security for taxpayer data and employees, tax compliance initiatives, the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), and taxpayer protection and rights. The Office of Audit also issues reports detailing its reviews and recommendations for tax system administration; these are publicly available as brief highlights or full reports. The following are summaries of some recent reports.

"Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review" (No. 2013-10-053). This particular review was initiated at the request of Congress, due to the appearance of delayed processing of targeted groups' applications beginning in 2010. TIGTA found that the 1RS used improper criteria based on groups' names (e.g., Tea Party) and not based on actual indications of political campaign intervention. Although the 1RS already had some interim corrective actions in place, TIGTA made nine specific recommendations, which the 1RS either accepted or considered while offering alternatives.

"Affordable Care Act: Implementation of Key Information Reporting Provisions" (No. …

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