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Why the IRS audits the poor


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#1 indy

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 07:06 AM

I did not realize that 40% of all audits (if I read this right) are people claiming the earned income credit.

https://www.propubli...-audit-the-poor

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The IRS audits the working poor at about the same rate as the wealthiest 1%. Now, in response to questions from a U.S. senator, the IRS has acknowledged that’s true but professes it can’t change anything unless it is given more money.

ProPublica reported the disproportionate audit focus on lower-income families in April. Lawmakers confronted IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig about the emphasis, citing our stories, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked Rettig for a plan to fix the imbalance. Rettig readily agreed.
Last month, Rettig replied with a report, but it said the IRS has no plan and won’t have one until Congress agrees to restore the funding it slashed from the agency over the past nine years — something lawmakers have shown little inclination to do.

On the one hand, the IRS said, auditing poor taxpayers is a lot easier: The agency uses relatively low-level employees to audit returns for low-income taxpayers who claim the earned income tax credit. The audits — of which there were about 380,000 last year, accounting for 39% of the total the IRS conducted — are done by mail and don’t take too much staff time, either. They are “the most efficient use of available IRS examination resources,” Rettig’s report says.


#2 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 08:46 AM

View Postindy, on 06 October 2019 - 07:06 AM, said:

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They are “the most efficient use of available IRS examination resources,” Rettig’s report says.

Especially since they are far more likely to discourage others from even claiming EITC.
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#3 LFC

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 09:27 AM

I posted about that over in the tax thread a while ago. It's disgusting.

You can tie in how the wealthy have managed to neuter the IRS's ability to audit them. Tie both to the fact that Republicans have cut the IRS's budget multiple times despite knowing that additional auditors will bring in tens if not hundreds of billions in uncollected revenue annually and it's the right-wing trifecta of bankrupting our nation.
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