In the past, FHWA guidelines have provided numerous questions, which if addressed properly, would yield a great deal of information to assist in the HVUT compliance review process. These guidelines, however, did not present a detailed process for verifying proof of payment, which is an essential element of the compliance review.
Analysis of a reasonably small number of carrier records could be treated as a random sample of the taxpayer population provided that the reviewer does not introduce bias in the identification of records for review. To ensure non-bias, the reviewer should develop a systematic procedure for verifying proof of payment.
The level of evasion measured in an unbiased sample could be applied to the population of taxpayers provided the reviewer obtains a large enough sample to achieve a desired level of statistical significance and margin of error. Evasion estimates could be generated by calculating the difference between the estimated tax liability and payments observed in the sample and applying the evasion rate to the overall taxpayer population.
It is important to note that simply pulling the files and checking each for the presence of an IRS Form 2290 is not enough. The reviewer must take additional steps, including analysis of the 2290 forms, validation of the IRS stamp, examination of local and other field operations and cross-referencing of 2290 forms with available IRS data to ensure that the sample is yielding reliable information.
Appendix A of the HVUT compliance review protocol presents a recommended approach for conducting a stratified random sample. The appendix describes the steps in conducting the sampling process as follows:
Click on the link at the bottom of the page to review the recommended stratified random sampling approach.
More Information Link to Appendix A – HVUT Compliance Review Protocol
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