The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report examining the federal government’s continued efforts to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. In conducting its examination, the GAO reviewed federal data and documents and interviewed federal and state officials and other stakeholders.

Report Findings

The GAO reviewed IRS and Treasury as part of its overall government examination. The GAO found that during 2021, the IRS and Treasury issued advance payments of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and a third round of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) to eligible individuals, totaling over $500 billion. The Treasury and the IRS took several steps to reach out to individuals that received the advance CTC payments and third round EIPs to help them file accurate returns for tax year 2021. However, the Treasury and the IRS missed opportunities to collaborate on these outreach efforts. Further, the GAO found that the IRS is missing information it could use to develop performance metrics and to assess which aspects of their communications and outreach strategy were effective in reaching different audiences.

The GAO made three recommendations for the Treasury and the IRS to enhance communication and outreach efforts concerning the refundable tax credit. The Treasury and the IRS neither agreed nor disagreed with the recommendations.