IRS tests virtual visits after $26 billion in child tax credit errors and more refundable filing errors

Videoconferencing has been recommended as a way to educate tax preparers and 

Conduct compliance reviews in order to reduce the amount of improper claims and other tax benefit errors.

In a report by the Government Accountability Office, “knock-and-talk” visits designed to educate 

And conducted in person, as well as due diligence visits directed at compliance with regulations,

Declined steeply as a result of the pandemic. In accordance with its Refundable Credits Return Preparer Strategy, the IRS conducts the visits.

In order to compensate for reduced visits and compliance reviews in 2021 and 2022 due to COVID-19, 

The report recommends testing video conferencing. The GAO recommends video conferencing as a means to

Expand tax preparer education and compliance visits if the IRS finds the benefits outweigh the costs.

"Without plans to test videoconferencing visits with preparers, IRS' efforts to address preparer 

Noncompliance will remain limited," said the GAO report. It may also miss an opportunity to innovate its compliance actions 

And align with agency-wide efforts to expand digital services for taxpayers and professionals.

IRS reports that 23% of payments made to taxpayers filing for refundable tax credits 

in fiscal year 2021 were made in error, costing the agency approximately $26 billion.

It is reported by the GAO that nearly half of taxpayers who claim tax credits through programs

Such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the American Opportunity Tax Credit, and

The Additional Child Tax Credit file their taxes through paid professionals, 

Some of whom file incorrectly due to lack of knowledge or noncompliance with the regulations for refundable credits.

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