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April 5, 2019

The IRS Tried to Take on the Ultrawealthy. It Didnít Go Well.
By Jesse Eisinger and Paul Kiel

The inspector general also criticized the IRS broadly ó not just its high-wealth team ó for not focusing enough on the richest taxpayers. In 2010, the IRS as a whole audited over 32,000 millionaires. By 2018, that number had fallen to just over 16,000, according to data compiled by Syracuse University. Audits of the wealthiest Americans have collapsed 52 percent since 2011, falling more substantially than audits of the middle class and the poor. Almost half of audits of the wealthy were of taxpayers making $200,000 to $399,000. Those audits brought in $605 per audit hour worked. Exams of those making over $5 million, by contrast, brought in more than $4,500 an hour.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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