Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



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 IRS’s 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 “a well-run IRS [which] is critical to the operation of our tax system.” 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 “performance based” activities emphasizing the responsiveness to the needs of taxpayers. Ultimately, the IRS’s core function remains the annual collection of nearly $2 trillion in taxes. The effects of the 1998 IRS Reform Act on the IRS’s administration were assessed within the context of this paradigm shift in management. Partial replication of the IRS’s 1990 Taxpayer Opinion Survey showed taxpayers’ perceptions of the IRS have not improved. In fact, the IRS’s 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 IRS’s personnel data shows that IRS executives have not received private pay parity, and the IRS strategically misrepresented §1203 employee termination violations in 2003.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Donald Larry Crumbley



Included in

Accounting Commons