IRS Urged to Shift Tax Audit Focus to Wealthier Americans

tax auditWith tax season around the corner, the IRS is re-examining its auditing practices of Americans who make between $200,000 and $400,000 annually. Instead of seeing this group as high-income, the IRS may shift its focus to tax filers with multi-million dollar incomes. The potential shift is in response to a recent report from the inspector general, which revealed that the IRS would get more bang for its buck by allocating tax audit resources to wealthier tax filers. The report found that in 2014, auditors who focused on tax returns in the $200,000 to $400,000 income bracket only recovered $605 in additional taxes per hour while auditors who worked on tax returns in the $5 million income bracket recovered $4,545 per hour. That doesn’t mean upper middle class tax payers will get a break. Fear of the tax audit is one of the primary tools the IRS has to ensure taxpayer compliance. In response to the report, the IRS released a statement saying, “Our decisions on resource allocation cannot be made solely on the basis of productivity measures.”

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