The Associated Press reports that the IRS is intensifying and expanding its tax return audit program:
The IRS is making it a bit riskier to cheat on your taxes.
The tax agency increased the number of returns it audited by nearly 11 percent this year, statistics released Wednesday show. Wealthy taxpayers and big businesses were most likely to be targeted.
The IRS examined more than 1.58 million individual returns in the budget year that ended in September, up from 1.43 million the year before.
“We saw individual audits increase, reaching the highest rate in the past decade,” said Steve Miller, IRS deputy commissioner for services and enforcement. “The bottom line shows enforcement revenue topped $57 billion, up almost 18 percent from last year.”
Overall, a little more than 1 percent of individual returns were audited, either by mail or in person. The IRS audited more than 8 percent of returns with incomes above $1 million.
Taxpayers filed nearly 143 million returns, including those from individuals and married couples. Nearly 389,000 taxpayers reported incomes of $1 million or above.
Corporate audits dropped slightly, by less than 1 percent. But there was a 7 percent increase in the number of audits of firms with $10 million or more in assets.
Now, more than ever, it’s essential that taxpayers hire qualified, experienced tax preparers to prepare their tax returns. And remember, if a would-be preparer brags about his ability to get his clients refunds, make a b-line for the door and don’t look back. He’s almost certainly fudging numbers on his clients’ returns and that’s an invitation to an IRS audit.