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CBS News
March 8, 2019

Fear a tax audit by IRS? Don't -- the odds are with you
By Alain Scherter

Out of the roughly 504,000 people who earned at least $1 million in 2018, just over 3 percent were audited by the agency -- down sharply from previous years, according to new data out of Syracuse University. Since 2010, the number of audits of millionaires has declined by half. The internal IRS data, obtained from the agency by Syracuse's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) under a court order, also suggests big companies are getting a pass. More than half of the 633 largest companies in the U.S. -- those with at least $20 billion in assets -- escaped audits last year. By comparison, a decade ago the IRS routinely examined nearly all returns filed by corporations of this size. Last year was the first time the audit rate for these giants fell below 50 percent, TRAC's analysis found. Susan Long, co-director of TRAC and a professor of managerial statistics at Syracuse, notes that IRS audits have declined across the board - not just the rich. That may cheer some taxpayers, but it also deprives the federal government of revenue it needs to fund other programs, shifts the tax burden to other Americans and undermines public faith in the U.S. tax system, she said.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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