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The Economic Populist
January 17, 2012

Bush Tax Cuts Increased Income Inequality
By Robert Oak

From 2005 to 2009, hours spent auditing the biggest corporations declined by 33 percent, according to IRS records analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University in New York. Two decades ago, when the economy was a third smaller, the IRS staff numbered about 118,000. Now it numbers 95,000 and is on the way to about 90,000. The likelihood of a big company being audited has plummeted 50 percentage points from 72 percent in 1990 to 22 percent in 2010. Big company audits are now limited to specific issues known to the companies in advance, not unlike when cops tip off owners of favored gambling dens before a raid. Each audit also begins with an “estimated time to completion.” Working auditors tell me this is really a hard deadline that allows companies to run out the clock with delays in producing documents.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2012
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