Trimmed-Down IRS Staff Means Fewer Audits This Year

We certainly don’t want to give comfort to tax cheats — and we’re not trying to imply that any of our beloved readers are anything less than honest when filing their tax returns — but for those who dread a random audit, there’s some good news: Budget and staff cuts at the IRS will likely mean fewer audits.

The most recent round of budget cuts have left the IRS with around 5,000 fewer staffers than it had last year, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The agency’s National Taxpayer Advocate recently stated that these cuts make it nigh impossible for the IRS to “meet the service needs of the taxpaying public.”

Unfortunately, while this cut back does include those dreaded audits, it also means cuts to services like phone support and the processing of amended returns.

And, as the IRS has pointed out, fewer audits may mean that tax cheats are not being caught, which means that honest taxpayers are footing an uneven portion of the tax bill.

With resources stretched, IRS may audit fewer folks [AJC.com]

Comments

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  1. Gman says:

    But all of those internet commentators on local news websites are constantly complaining about the 100,000+ jobs that the IRS hired just to take away all of their tax money.

    Are you saying that random anonymous internet commentators have been misleading me all this time? Gah!

    Wait…I am a random, anonymous internet commentor. The Irony!

  2. Cat says:

    Why didn’t you tell me this BEFORE I did my taxes?

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Seriously. I would have donated a lot more to The Human Fund last year if I had known about this.

  3. HogwartsProfessor says:

    That reminds me….I have to call them and tell them I need to go on a payment plan. $746 in taxes and me without a job.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      YAY!!!

      I got the NICEST IRS LADY IN THE WORLD. She helped me set up a payment plan I can actually do, and they’re going to send me all the info. I can pay online at their website instead of mailing checks. She was very encouraging and wished me good luck on my job search. She said I was intelligent and courageous. :)

      I guess I’ll just have to suck some money out of my savings to pay my state tax. I don’t want to, but it’s so much less a payment plan doesn’t make sense at this point. :P

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    “Trimmed-Down IRS Staff Means Fewer Audits This Year”

    See, there are benefits to a worldwide economic catastrophe.

    /silver-lining

  5. Hi_Hello says:

    they should offer a reward to snitch on people who cheats.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Whistleblower – Informant Award

      The IRS Whistleblower Office pays money to people who blow the whistle on persons who fail to pay the tax that they owe. If the IRS uses information provided by the whistleblower, it can award the whistleblower up to 30 percent of the additional tax, penalty and other amounts it collects.

      Who can get an award?
      The IRS may pay awards to people who provide specific and credible information to the IRS if the information results in the collection of taxes, penalties, interest or other amounts from the noncompliant taxpayer.

      The IRS is looking for solid information, not an “educated guess” or unsupported speculation. We are also looking for a significant Federal tax issue Рthis is not a program for resolving personal problems or disputes about a business relationship.

      What are the rules for getting an award?
      The law provides for two types of awards. If the taxes, penalties, interest and other amounts in dispute exceed $2 million, and a few other qualifications are met, the IRS will pay 15 percent to 30 percent of the amount collected. If the case deals with an individual, his or her annual gross income must be more than $200,000. If the whistleblower disagrees with the outcome of the claim, he or she can appeal to the Tax Court. These rules are found at Internal Revenue Code IRC Section 7623(b) – Whistleblower Rules.

      The IRS also has an award program for other whistleblowers – generally those who do not meet the dollar thresholds of $2 million in dispute or cases involving individual taxpayers with gross income of less that $200,000. The awards through this program are less, with a maximum award of 15 percent up to $10 million. In addition, the awards are discretionary and the informant cannot dispute the outcome of the claim in Tax Court. The rules for these cases are found at Internal Revenue Code IRC Section 7623(a) – Informant Claims Program, and some of the rules are different from those that apply to cases involving more than $2 million.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        neat. I wonder what they mean by solid evidence.

        if I only new sooner!!1

      • SavijMuhdrox says:

        Soooo.. sending them a link to an article on how the Buffett rule was voted down and a list of everyone who voted against it doesn’t count?

  6. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    If I would have known this I would have back dated some charitable contributions.

    /S

  7. energynotsaved says:

    I read somewhere today that the federal employees, included our fantastic leaders in the senate and house, collectively owe about $1 billion in back taxes. Do they get audited or hounded by the IRS? (I honestly don’t know. Just asking.)

    But, I lay odds that I get audited this year. I received a small inheritance and honored my aunt’s memory by giving half of it to charity. Since I normally give above the average to charity, this added amount will rocket me to a level that will flag my return. After all, the average American in my income group gives about 2% of their adjusted gross income (per NYT article today) to charity. Oh goody. The IRS cometh.

  8. jrwn says:

    Didn’t the White house shift $500,000 to the IRS for Obamacare?

    • StarKillerX says:

      I assume you meant $500,000,000 since $500k isn’t even enough for another GSA Vegas conference.

  9. regis-s says:

    Upside: Less chance of being audited.

    Downside: They’re probably going to try and squeeze even more money out of the people they do audit.

  10. DrPizza says:

    I wouldn’t be afraid of an audit, other than the inconvenience. What irritated me this year is getting an expected date for my refund, then finding out as that date approached that it was moved back a few weeks due to the IRS falling behind (and blaming the new computer system.)

  11. Draw2much says:

    Bwahahhahaa! This is why the IRS can’t do your taxes for you!

    http://consumerist.com/2012/04/why-cant-the-irs-just-figure-out-file-your-taxes-for-you.html

  12. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    “meet the service needs of the taxpaying public”

    LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL