Special Advisory
News from the IRS

              Audits Continue To Decline

              Collection Enforcement Actions Decline

              IRS Staffing Levels Down

Presented here is summary information just made public by the IRS about its declining efforts to enforce the nation's tax laws. Much more detailed information about the agency's audit and collection activities will soon be coming from TRAC via the new edition of its public IRS web site and its updated subscription sites, TRACFED and FEDPROBE.

     Here are the key findings:

      Audit Examinations. The national audit rate for FY 2000—the number of individual returns examined in comparison to the number of returns filled—continued to decline. This was true for all individual taxpayers and those earning $100,000 or more as well as for corporations. (See graphic or tables on audit rates and number of audits.)

   • Collection Enforcement Actions. The use of levies declined sharply. Seizures remained at historic low levels, while liens rebounded slightly. Also down were installment agreements. (See graphic or table.)

     Staffing. IRS staff continued to decline in FY 2000, with the number of revenue agents and tax auditors dropping a little more than 20% since 1995. Collection revenue officers also declined.

     In releasing the summary data, Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti said in a statement the agency was "deeply concerned" about the continued drop in examination and collection activities.

TRAC is a non-partisan data gathering, research and data-distribution organization associated with Syracuse University. TRAC has been supported by the University, the Rockefeller Family Fund, the New York Times Company Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and many other organizations.

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