GAO report - Effects of budget cuts on IRS staffing, performance 

April 21: The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) today release a report concerning the effects of budget cuts on IRS staffing and performance.

In its report—Internal Revenue Service: Absorbing Budget Cuts Has Resulted in Significant Staffing Declines and Uneven Performance, GAO-14-534R (April 21, 2014)—the GAO findings reflect that:


  • Appropriations for the IRS have declined to below fiscal year (FY) 2009 levels, and “full-time equivalents” have been reduced by about 8,000 since FY 2009.
  • Planned performance in enforcement and taxpayer service has decreased or fluctuated. For example, in the FY 2014 congressional justification, the audit coverage target for individual examinations was 1.0% for 2014, and the target was lowered to 0.8% in the FY 2015 congressional justification.
  • The IRS has absorbed approximately $900 million in budget cuts since FY 2010 through savings and efficiencies and by reducing, delaying, or eliminating services. For example, IRS delayed two information technology projects (information reporting and document matching and return review program) and substantially reduced employee training.



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