The 2015 IRS Enforcement and Service Report issued this week reveals that both individual and corporate audit rates are declining, with the respective audit rates at a record low .84% and .60% of returns filed. This not only leaves tax dollars on the table for past years but also risks future taxpayer non-compliance by not spending adequate resources to enforce the tax laws as they are currently written.
Lots of well written articles have been released about the Report that are worth checking out:
The Wall Street Journal: IRS Focuses Its Audits More on 1 Million Incomes.
As it relates to whistleblower claims, we and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s Office (“TIGTA”) continue to shout the message that pursuing information from whistleblower claims is among the most efficient uses of scarce enforcement resources. TIGTA’s own studies show that every dollar spent by the IRS on enforcement for whistleblower claims yields $6.88, whereas the normal enforcement return is four to one according to a November 2015 speech by Commissioner Koskinen. However, the reality is that there are less agents now than there were 10 years ago to audit more returns than ever, and the IRS is being very picky about what cases they select for audit and what issues they move forward with in those audits. This means that it is more important than ever that your whistleblower submission to the IRS be tight, concise, thorough, and persuasive to convince the IRS to take action in your case.