WASHINGTON, March 21 The U.S. Internal Revenue
Service said on Friday that it audited fewer high-income
Americans in 2013 than it did in 2012 or 2011, while it
conducted more audits of people with no income.
Total audits fell by 5 percent from 2012 to reach the lowest
level since 2008 as the IRS said it coped with budget cuts.
For the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2013, the IRS said
it audited 24.2 percent of individual tax returns with adjusted
gross income of $10 million or more. That was down from 27
percent in 2012 and 30 percent in 2011.
There were also fewer individual tax returns audited in the
$5 million to $10 million gross income band, the IRS said.
In total, the IRS audited about 1.4 million individual
returns. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement that
budget cuts at the agency have "presented challenges."
Wealthy Americans historically are the likeliest to be
audited. The IRS a few years ago started a "Global High Wealth
Industry Group" to audit high-wealth individuals more
But Congress in January cut the IRS's fiscal 2014 budget by
about 4 percent to $11.3 billion.
The funding cuts have forced the IRS to cut the number of
customer service representatives it employs during tax season,
Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees
Union said in a statement. "Both taxpayers and employees are
Last year, audits were done on 6 percent of individual tax
returns reporting no gross income, up from 2.7 percent in 2012
and 3.4 percent in 2011.
(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; Editing by Leslie Adler)