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The number of federal individual income tax returns examined by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has continuously increased over the past five years, with 1 out of every 90 taxpayers examined in fiscal year 2010, according to a statistical report released today (8/17/11) by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. That’s up 23 percent from fiscal year 2006, when 1 of every 103 individual returns was examined. The IRS has also increased the overall use of enforcement tools (liens, levies, and seizures).
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) gives the IRS credit for having to operate in an environment of ever changing tax laws (how do you think taxpayers feel?). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, for example, included 56 tax provisions (20 related to individual taxpayers), and The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 revised the First-Time Homebuyer Credit, causing untold confusion. More Federal tax laws means more Federal tax laws to enforce (more penalties and interest to collect); more changes mean it’s more likely taxpayers will mess up which means more penalties and interest to collect (which means more revenue for the Federal Government).
"The increase in IRS tax enforcement (as well as state) is all for the greater good of maintaining a voluntary tax compliance system", the report says. IRS Oversight Board studies of taxpayer attitudes showed that fear of an IRS examination is a major factor influencing taxpayers to report taxes honestly. In 2010, 64 percent of all taxpayers surveyed cited fear of an IRS examination as a factor that influenced their voluntary compliance (up from 63% in 2009). Yet an astonishing 12 percent of taxpayers believed that it was acceptable to cheat on their Federal income taxes.
One teeny weeny bit of good news for those fearing a full-blown IRS audit is that you’re way more likely to get an audit by mail, although both in-person and by-mail IRS examinations are up over last year. Only 1 out of every 503 individual returns filed got a face-to-face examination in fiscal 2010 (a 4 percent increase in coverage over fiscal year 2009), while 1 of every 110 returns got an audit by mail (a more than 8 percent increase over fiscal year 2009).
IRS LEVY INCREASED 4%
IRS LIENS INCREASED 74%
The most troubling IRS problem for taxpayers is the increased use of Federal tax liens, an IRS levy (paycheck, wages, Social Security, bank accounts, etc.) and IRS seizure of assets (cars, boats, etc.). The use of IRS tax liens has increased by 74 percent since fiscal year 2006, with this year’s increase the largest since fiscal year 2007. The total number of IRS tax levies (paychecks, wages, banks, Social Security benefits, etc.) increased by 4 percent, and the total number of IRS seizures (cars, boats, various assets) increased 4 percent. The National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina E. Olson, has argued that Federal Tax Liens are inappropriate in some cases, given the impact the Federal Tax Lien has on a delinquent’s ability to earn a living, pay off his delinquent tax debt and even stay off public assistance. No kidding.
Publicly filed Federal Tax Liens can destroy credit and potentially wreck careers and businesses.
IRS ENFORCED COLLECTIONS
Enforcement revenue, by the IRS, collected during fiscal year 2010 increased by 18 percent from $48.9 billion to $57.6 billion. This amount (not adjusted for inflation) is the first increase since fiscal year 2007. These numbers could be higher, but the collection folks are unable to work all of the existing accounts with current staffing, the report says. Sounds like a call for more compliance staff, and more exams. Look out for increased collection from the IRS.
IF YOU OWE THE IRS
YOU CAN COUNT ON IT
The Federal Government is broke. If you read a newspaper or watch the news then you are aware that the Federal Government is desperately looking for money. The job of the IRS is to collect money. That is their only job. The IRS has enormous power and the IRS will use their collection powers to bring you to your knees.
THE IRS WILL
I am Dave Rosa, the V. P. of Client Relations at Flat Fee Tax Service, Inc. I will conduct your confidential consultation. It is my duty to you, as well as Flat Fee Tax Service, Inc., to provide you with an honest, straightforward evaluation of your IRS problem. We will provide you with an action plan that will be your road map to an IRS solution. You will never be pressured by Flat Fee Tax Service, Inc.