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Law 360
March 8, 2022

IRS Audits Disproportionately Target Low Earners, Report Says
By Emlyn Cameron


he Internal Revenue Service audited people with under $25,000 in income at five times the rate of anyone else in 2021, a research center that analyzes data regarding the federal government said Tuesday. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse said the agency audited returns filed by the lowest-income workers at a rate of 13 out of every 1,000 returns, in contrast to 2.6 out of every 1,000 filed by taxpayers in other categories. The IRS conducted a total of 659,000 audits in 2021, with an overall rate of 4.1 out of every 1,000 returns receiving an audit, TRAC said. TRAC said workers in the lowest income bracket and who claimed the earned income tax credit bore 54% of all of 2021's correspondence audits "essentially a letter from the IRS asking for documentation on a specific line item on a return." TRAC based the results on internal IRS reports furnished monthly to the center under court order, it said.


Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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