- Taxes April 15
Budget cuts and additional responsibilities are hitting the Internal Revenue Service hard, and there are fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since the 1980s, The Associated Press reports. If that's the case, what are your chances of getting audited?
According to the The Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham, pretty slim. Ingraham dug through annual IRS reports, and found that last year was the first time audit rates fell below 1 percent since 2006. Rates were at their highest in the 1980s, when more than 2 percent of taxpayers were audited.
Ingraham went on to explain that audit rates differ by income, and while the IRS does not provide consistent income breakdowns of the data over time, the likelihood of being audited in 2013 was 0.88 percent if your income was less than $200,000, 3.26 percent for incomes above $200,000, and 10.85 percent for people earning more than $1 million per year.
The final result is that you're roughly half as likely to get audited in 2014 as you were in 1980, but twice as likely as you were in 2000. (Ingraham has a nice chart of the audit rates.) As long as you at least appear to be on the up and up, chances are you'll escape a dreaded audit.
"We keep going after the people who look like the worst of the bad guys," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the AP. "But there are going to be some people that we could catch, either in terms of collecting the revenue from them or prosecuting them, that we're not going to catch."- - Catherine Garcia
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 8 tricks to surviving the holidays without gaining weight or being grouchy
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- 17 old proverbs we should use more often
- Chuck Hagel wasn't the problem. It's America's addiction to endless war.
Subscribe to the Week