Audit report: More could be done to protect Low Income Taxpayer Clinic grant funds

By AccountingWEB Staff

The Taxpayer Advocate Service could be doing more to ensure that grant funding it provides to Low Income Taxpayer Clinics are properly used, according to a report released Wednesday.

The Taxpayer Advocate Service, which is an independent agency within the IRS, provided $9.5 million to 162 clinics in 2009. The clinics offer assistance to low-income taxpayers who are involved in controversies with the IRS.

An audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) showed that the Taxpayer Advocate Service has improved grants management but could do even more. The report said in-depth analyses were not done during site visits to validate that the clinics met program requirements. The service should be checking the accuracy of the information submitted by clinics, the report said.

Also, the Taxpayer Advocate Service has not set up a process to prioritize visits to the clinics, according to the report, instead visiting new clinics or those that haven't been visited in three years.

"A documented process will assist TAS in focusing its resources on the clinics most in need of assistance and/or oversight," said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The Taxpayer Advocate Services agreed with the recommendations in part, noting that several improvements are already in the works.

You can read the full report.

 

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