WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is making a worse mess of its Automated Collection Service (ACS) to prioritize on collecting unpaid taxes, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said.
"From fiscal years 2012 through 2014, ACS staff has declined 20 percent while the number of unresolved collection cases at year-end has increased 21 percent," the report, issued on Thursday, said.
Because the IRS has not identified objectives for the collection program and ACS, it is difficult to assess the program's overall effectiveness, the GAO cautioned.
"ACS has processes for managing risk and reviewing performance, but has not implemented other key internal controls," the report continued. "This increases the risk that the collection program's mission of fair and equitable application of the tax laws will not be achieved."
"Collection program and ACS objectives, and key term of fairness are not defined," the report added. "IRS officials responsible for the collection program and ACS were unable to produce documentation of collection program or ACS objectives."
The IRS has failed to define clearly documented objectives for the ACS, the GAO continued.
Therefore, "IRS cannot know how well ACS contributes to the collection program mission and ensure the case prioritization and selection process is fair," the GAO said.
The lack of clearly articulated objectives also undercuts the effectiveness of IRS efforts to assess risks and monitor ACS performance, the GAO added.
"ACS case prioritization and selection process is not documented," the report stated. "Without adequate documentation, it is difficult for IRS to determine whether the ACS case prioritization and selection process effectively supports the collection program mission."
The US Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer money.