IRS audits have dropped by half : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Nation & World Friday, March 17, 2000, 08:52 p.m. Pacific

Capital Watch: Taxpayer audits have dropped by half, warns head of IRS

WASHINGTON - Unless the Internal Revenue Service adds nearly 2,000 employees to halt a steep slide in audits and other enforcement actions, a growing number of taxpayers will believe they can get away with cheating, the IRS chief told Congress yesterday.

"We have to at least level this thing off," IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti said. "It's fair to say these problems really are severe. Over time, they would undermine the fairness and integrity of the entire tax system."

Rossotti is asking Congress for an $8.8 billion budget in fiscal 2001, an increase of $769 million over this year that would be used to hire 1,934 new employees, among other things. He said that would only partially make up for the drop of nearly 10,000 front-line enforcement employees between 1995 and 2000.

"If we get out of the audit business, every taxpayer's going to know that," said Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

The main reason for the decrease, Rossotti said, is the 1998 IRS reform law, aimed at improving taxpayer rights, combined with a sharp increase in overall workload. An estimated 4,500 employees were shifted into jobs related to administering those reforms or improving customer service.

As a result, audits are down roughly by half from the mid-1990s, Rossotti said. Sharp decreases also have occurred in property seizures and liens imposed in delinquent taxpayer cases.

-- Martin Thompson (, March 17, 2000


I've got a sneaking hunch this is but one of the first of a long series of negative stories to come having to do with the IRS.

-- Uncle Fred (, March 18, 2000.

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