Mar 17, 2014 | by Franck Cushner, CFP®
With nearly fifty percent of the U.S. population filing tax returns each year, the IRS has the arduous task of identifying which returns it believes warrant an audit. The most recent available IRS data show that with over 142 million returns filed in 2010, only 1.5 million were actually examined, representing roughly 1.1 percent of all returns. The number of examinations, also know as audits, was higher in the mid 1990s, when about 1.7% of returns were being audited.
Some welcome the drop in audits, while others view it as lost revenue. The 1.5 million returns audited in 2010 garnered another 15 billion dollars in tax revenue, a worthwhile undertaking.
With federal cuts in effect, the IRS now has fewer examiners than it did just a couple of years ago, making it more of a challenge for it to recover additional taxes owed. Data from 1995 to 2010, shows that the IRS was able to pick up an additional $6,919 per tax return audited on average.
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