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Congress complains seized property too apt to go to waste.

Members of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee bluntly criticized the IRS's general mismanagement of assets it has seized, especially in light of the agency's huge $125 billion accounts receivable backlog.

The two IRS divisions that manage seized assets are Collections and Criminal Investigations. The Collections Division sometimes seizes a taxpayer's property during the collection process, and the Criminal Investigations Division seizes assets bought with drug-dealing profits or other criminally obtained funds.

The GAO investigated the IRS's seized property program and found the IRS too often lost money or property, sold assets for less than they were worth or paid too much for storage and maintenance. The IRS admits it does not have an adequate information management system and that the property management program has several internal control weaknesses.

The GAO recommended the IRS hire a contractor to fulfill the property management function.

Note: From fiscal 1990 to fiscal 1991 the IRS's inventory of accounts receivable grew by 8%. The IRS's goal had been to hold the annual growth of accounts receivable to 7%.
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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Dec 1, 1992
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