ProPublica: Who’s More Likely to Be Audited: A Person Making $20,000 — or $400,000?
Budget cuts have crippled the IRS over the past eight years. Enforcement staff has dropped by a third. But while the number of audits has fallen across the board, the impact has been different for the rich and poor. For wealthy taxpayers, the story has been rosy: Not only has the audit rate been cut in half, but audits now tend to be less thorough.
It’s a different story for people who receive the EITC: The audit rate has fallen less steeply and the experience of being audited has become more punishing. Because of a 2015 law, EITC recipients are now more likely to have their refund held, something that can be calamitous for someone living month-to-month.by Paul Kiel and Jesse Eisinger Dec. 12, 2018
Put simply, budget cuts to the IRS have resulted in a situation where a program that was once meant to help the working poor now makes their lives even more difficult. Combine this with a recent bill that will effectively keep tax preparation privatized and expensive, and it’s yet another way we are failing our citizens who are the most in need.