Tags: irs | audits | plunge | budget

IRS Audits Plunge by Nearly a Quarter From 2010

papers on a desk labeled irs audit
Budget cuts have pushed down the number of IRS audits. (Designer491/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 October 2018 11:05 AM

The number of Internal Revenue Service audits have plunged dramatically since Congress slashed the tax agency's budget, shifting its focus to crimes such as drug trafficking and money laundering, according to a new report.

A joint report released by ProPublica and The New York Times, noted that the IRS's criminal division brought in 795 cases of tax fraud, which is nearly 25 percent less than the number brought in 2010.

The drop follows repeated budget cuts to the IRS beginning in 2011, which forced the agency to reduce its staff by a third.

Earlier this year the Wall Street Journal noted that the IRS audited roughly one in about 160 individual tax returns in 2017, making it the lowest number of audits since 2002 and the sixth consecutive year that numbers have declined.

Furthermore, IRS estimates show that business owners are skipping on paying $125 billion in taxes each year.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen previously said the budget cuts were costing the federal government between $4 billion and $8 billion a year in uncollected taxes.

Between 2010 and 2017, the agency's budget shrunk from $12.2 billion to $11.2 billion, resulting in the loss of over 17,000 employees.

Chuck Pine, a former third-ranking criminal enforcement officer at the IRS, noted that the budget cuts, attrition and a shift in focus have caused a "collapse in the commitment to take on tax fraud," according to ProPublica. "I believe there are thousands of individuals who have U.S. tax obligations and are not complying with U.S. tax laws."

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Budget cuts have pushed the number of IRS audits down dramatically as the agency has focused its attention on crimes such as drug trafficking and money laundering, according to a new report.
irs, audits, plunge, budget
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2018-05-02
Tuesday, 02 October 2018 11:05 AM
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