This is what I found on PROPUBLICA.ORG:
The IRS audits the working poor at about the same rate as the wealthiest 1%. Now, in response to questions from a U.S. senator, the IRS has acknowledged that’s true but professes it can’t change anything unless it is given more money.
ProPublica reported the disproportionate audit focus on lower-income families in April. Lawmakers confronted IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig about the emphasis, citing our stories, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked Rettig for a plan to fix the imbalance. Rettig readily agreed.
On the one hand, the IRS said, auditing poor taxpayers is a lot easier: The agency uses relatively low-level employees to audit returns for low-income taxpayers who claim the earned income tax credit. The audits — of which there were about 380,000 last year, accounting for 39% of the total the IRS conducted — are done by mail and don’t take too much staff time, either. They are “the most efficient use of available IRS examination resources,” Rettig’s report says.
Auditing the rich takes “senior auditors hours upon hours” to conduct an investigation. Plus, the attrition rate is significantly higher with experienced examiners, Rettig reported. He blamed budget cuts over the last nine years, something he said impacted IRS audit employees in particular.
Without more funding, nothing will change.
“Congress must fund and the IRS must hire and train appropriate numbers of [auditors] to have appropriately balanced coverage across all income levels,” the report said.
Stunning stuff here: Congress asked the IRS to report on why it audits the poor more than the affluent. Its response is that it doesn’t have enough money and people to audit the wealthy properly. So it’s not going to. https://t.co/j99bSZO7BD
— Charles Ornstein (@charlesornstein) October 3, 2019
The IRS said it’s easier to audit the poor (who made up 39 percent of audits last year) than the rich and until they get more funding, they will continue to audit people who are poor more often. https://t.co/Wd7CROSHYr
— Leah Binkovitz (@leahbink) October 3, 2019
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