Title page for ETD etd-11062004-130541

Type of Document Dissertation
Author VanDenburgh, William Meriwether
Author's Email Address wvande1@lsu.edu,wvandenb@uno.edu,taxbill@bellsouth.net
URN etd-11062004-130541
Title Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of l998: A Test of New Public Management
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Accounting
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Donald Larry Crumbley Committee Chair
James A. Richardson Committee Member
Nicholas G. Apostolou Committee Member
Timothy J. Louwers Committee Member
Leonard Paul Ray Dean's Representative
  • 1998 IRS reform act
Date of Defense 2004-10-19
Availability unrestricted
The enactment of the 1998 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Reform Act resulted directly from perceived lapses in the federal taxation administration, which was publicly highlighted in Congressional hearings. Congress reacted by fundamentally altering the IRSís implementation of the Internal Revenue Code (for the first time since 1952). The Joint Committee on Taxation noted that the overall objective of the 1998 IRS Reform Act was to have ďa well-run IRS [which] is critical to the operation of our tax system.Ē

From a public administration paradigm, the IRS moved from a traditional tax management methodology to a New Public Management (NPM) methodology. Traditional tax management focused on efficiency and effectiveness typically measured by tax collections per dollar spent. NPM focuses on ďperformance basedĒ activities emphasizing the responsiveness to the needs of taxpayers. Ultimately, the IRSís core function remains the annual collection of nearly $2 trillion in taxes.

The effects of the 1998 IRS Reform Act on the IRSís administration were assessed within the context of this paradigm shift in management. Partial replication of the IRSís 1990 Taxpayer Opinion Survey showed taxpayersí perceptions of the IRS have not improved. In fact, the IRSís receipt of top quality service evaluations universally decreased. Analysis of selected enforcement/compliance data showed that the number of IRS auditors is inversely related to the annual tax gap. The data of this dissertation, however, indicated that the 1998 IRS Reform Act resulted in better taxpayer compliance. Examination of the IRSís personnel data shows that IRS executives have not received private pay parity, and the IRS strategically misrepresented ß1203 employee termination violations in 2003.

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