ONAP COVID-19 Recovery Programs Implementation Challenges
HUD OIG is auditing HUD’s ONAP COVID 19 Recovery Program, which includes funds provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Acts. Congress provided over $1 billion in ONAP CARES and ARP grant formula and competitive funding. Our objective is to determine the challenges that Native American and Hawaiian tribes face in implementing and utilizing the funding provided by the CARES and ARP Acts and how ONAP has helped the tribes navigate the COVID-19 recovery programs available.
Review of Social Security Tax Deferral Repayment
TIGTA is initiating a review to evaluate the IRS's efforts to ensure that taxpayers repay their deferred Social Security taxes as required. TIGTA plans to evaluate whether accurate reminder notices were sent to taxpayers who deferred their Social Security tax during Tax Year 2020, whether taxpayers made their required repayment of deferred Social Security taxes by December 31, 2021, and whether appropriate penalties and interest were assessed on taxpayers who did not timely repay their deferred Social Security tax.
Continued Assessment of IRS's Efforts to Address the Backlog During Filing Season 2022
TIGTA is initiating a review to assess the IRS's actions to address the backlog of unworked returns and inventories during Filing Season 2022. This will include evaluating: progress to ensure that the Tax Processing Centers are adequately staffed to meet workload demands; effectiveness of the Submission Processing function’s Inventory Reduction Teams in addressing backlogged inventories; effectiveness of management in identifying and implementing process improvements to increase efficiency of tax processing and reduce taxpayer burden; and, impact on the IRS’s Files Management function due to the closures of and limited staffing at the Federal Record Centers.
American Rescue Plan Act Advance Child Tax Credit Tax Filing Reconciliation for Individuals
TIGTA is initiating a review of the reconciliation of the advance Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments made to individuals during CY 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. TIGTA will assess the following: accuracy of the IRS's outreach and assistance to individuals regarding the reconciliation of the advance CTC payments on TY 2021 tax returns; updates to the business rules relating to CTC, ACTC, and Credits for Other Dependents and changes made to the error resolution codes to ensure they are functioning as intended; the processing of tax returns to ensure that the IRS is properly calculating the CTC and applying Safe Harbor rules; the IRS's processes and procedures to address taxpayer accounts with advance CTC payment reversals since the issuance of the Letter 6419; and, the IRS's fraud filters and compliance plans to determine if there are adequate controls to identify potentially erroneous CTC claims.
Continued Review of Premium Tax Credit Rules under the American Rescue Plan Act
TIGTA is initiating a review to assess the IRS's actions to implement legislative changes to the Premium Tax Credit (PTC) made by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The overall objective is to assess the adequacy of processes and procedures to ensure expanded PTC eligibility requirements are met prior to credits being allowed. TIGTA plans to ensure forms and publications have been updated, assess the accuracy of the processing of PTC claims during 2022, ensure that individuals who can claim additional child tax credit due to the Advance PTC adjustment receives appropriate notices, and assess the current process to help taxpayers who report on the PTC form that they are a victim of domestic violence.
Reconciliation of the American Rescue Plan Act Recovery Rebate Credit During the 2022 Filing Season
TIGTA is initiating a review to evaluate the effectiveness of the Internal Revenue Service’s reconciliation of advance payments issued and Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) claims during the 2022 Filing Season. The overall objective of this audit is to assess the processing of the RRC claims during the 2022 Filing Season, including ensuring that taxpayers properly reconcile advanced payments received during CY 2021. Specifically TIGTA will assess the IRS's outreach and assistance to individuals regarding RRC. Ensure the RRC computed by the IRS is accurate and TY 2021 tax returns with an RRC claim are processed correctly. Ensure eligible individuals who did not receive their advance ARPA payments receive the correct RRC amounts. And, determine whether the IRS took sufficient actions to prevent ineligible individuals from receiving erroneous RRC.
Expansion of Earned Income Tax Credit and Child and Dependent Care Credit Eligibility Requirements
TIGTA is initiating a review of the IRS's processes and procedures to ensure that the expanded EITC and CDCC eligibility requirements are met prior to tax credits being allowed. It plans to determine if the IRS is appropriately rejecting incorrect/incomplete Schedule EIC claims for childless EITC and incorrect/incomplete forms claiming child and dependent care expenses, and preventing incorrect tax returns from processing with these claims. TIGTA will also evaluate the action taken by the IRS to address processing weaknesses identified during a previous audit to determine if the IRS is preventing erroneous CDCC claims.
External COVID-19 Loss Mitigation
HUD OIG is conducting a review of a nationwide mortgage servicing company that provides servicing and origination for FHA loans. In the summer of 2021, FHA introduced new recovery loss mitigation options for borrowers exiting forbearance, which will provide a path to deep and sustained recovery for borrowers who were significantly impacted by the pandemic by reinstating their loans from a delinquent to current status. Our objective is to determine if the servicer provided all available options to borrowers with FHA insured loans to help them stay in their homes after the COVID-19 forbearance ended.
COVID-19 Loss Mitigation
HUD OIG is conducting an audit of COVID-19 loss mitigation. In the summer of 2021, FHA introduced new recovery loss mitigation options for borrowers exiting forbearance, which will provide a path to deep and sustained recovery for borrowers who were significantly impacted by the pandemic by reinstating their loans from a delinquent to current status. Our audit objective is to determine if delinquent borrowers of FHA-insured loans received all available options to stay in their homes after forbearance ended.