GAO Reports  
AIMD-98-18 December 24, 1997

Financial Audit: Examination of IRS' Fiscal Year 1996
Custodial Financial Statements

Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO examined the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) custodial financial statements for fiscal year (FY) 1996.

GAO noted that: (1) GAO was unable to give an opinion on the statement of financial position because IRS could not provide adequate documentation to support its balance of federal taxes receivable; (2) the statement of custodial activity was reliable in all material respects, except that sufficient evidence supporting the classification of itemized tax collections and refunds was not available; (3) while GAO found that total collections of federal revenue (net) and total transfers to Treasury, net of refund appropriations, as reported on the statement of custodial activity, are fairly presented in all material respects in relation to the financial statements taken as a whole, the classification of itemized collections and refunds of federal taxes presented on the statement may not be reliable; (4) IRS management asserted that, except for the material weaknesses identified in IRS' FY 1996 Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act of 1982 report, internal controls were effective in: (a) safeguarding assets; (b) assuring material compliance with laws and regulations; and (c) assuring that there were no material misstatements in amounts reported in the financial statements; (5) consequently, the internal controls were not effective in satisfying the objectives discussed during FY 1996; and (6) material weaknesses in internal control and recordkeeping systems also precluded the tests necessary to provide a basis for any report on compliance with pertinent laws and regulations.

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