J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration (TIGTA), in an Oct. 14 memorandum to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, offered his perspective on the 10 most serious management and performance challenges confronting IRS in fiscal year 2021. TIGTA has a statutory requirement to submit an annual report on the subject.
Each year, TIGTA evaluates IRS programs, operations, and management functions to identify the most vulnerable areas in the Nation’s tax system. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, the IRS’s top management and performance challenges, in order of priority, are:
- Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic;
- Enhancing Security of Taxpayer Data and Protection of IRS Resources;
- Implementing Tax Law Changes;
- Addressing Emerging Threats to Tax Administration;
- Supporting an Enhanced Taxpayer Experience;
- Modernizing IRS Operations;
- Improving Tax Reporting and Payment Compliance;
- Reducing Fraudulent Claims and Improper Payments;
- Increasing International Tax Compliance; and
- Protecting Taxpayer Rights
The memorandum described the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as “the most significant change” to the list since last year, noting that it “has dramatically impacted” IRS and the taxpayers it serves.
“Although no longer listed, achieving operational efficiencies should remain an area of continued focus for the IRS,” George added.
The agency is facing “significant” resource challenges, he said, citing IRS’s budget reduction in real terms over the past decade and the loss of some 29,000 full-time positions, including more than 14,600 key enforcement personnel.
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