Reports by the public of suspected underreporting of taxes or other tax violations can help IRS detect millions of dollars in taxes that would otherwise go uncollected. IRS received about 87,000 information referrals in fiscal year 2015.
Fragmentation and overlap across IRS’s general information referral process and eight specialized referral programs, such as for reporting identity theft and misconduct by return preparers, can confuse the public trying to report tax noncompliance to IRS. Yet coordination between referral programs is limited, and IRS does not have a mechanism for sharing information on crosscutting issues and collaborating to improve the efficiency of operations across the mix of referral programs. As a result, IRS may be missing opportunities to leverage resources and reduce the burden on the public trying to report possible noncompliance.