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Could More IRS Audits Be on the Horizon?


Posted in on July 11, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service has faced substantial cuts in its budget in recent years, which has brought audit levels down significantly. Many taxpayers have been relieved at the reduced chances of being audited, especially in light of how burdensome Internal Revenue Service audits can be.

Even if you have done nothing wrong, dealing with an audit is still scary and there is no guarantee the IRS won't find some reason to say you owe more money.  Because of audit costs and risks, taxpayers are generally pleased when IRS audit levels drop.

Now, however, things are changing at the IRS. The Wall Street Journal reports that the IRS has found enough money in its budget to hire between 600 and 700 new enforcement agents.

With more agents coming on to work at the IRS, this means there will soon be a substantial increase in audits performed. Every taxpayer will face an added risk of being investigated by an IRS enforcement agent and potentially face back taxes and penalties if any problems are found. A Maryland tax lawyer can provide assistance in responding to an audit and trying to reduce the consequences that can arise due to an IRS investigation.

IRS Audits on the Rise Due to More Hiring

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has called the decision to hire more enforcement workers the “first significant enforcement hiring in more than five years.”  The IRS has been unable to do a lot of hiring because of cuts to its budget. 

Since 2010, more than $900 million has been cut from the IRS’ budget, which has meant fewer chances to hire new workers and has resulted in “unmet needs” across the agency.

While budget constraints remain, the IRS reportedly found the money to hire individuals anyway. The IRS said the money was available to hire new enforcement workers because of increased efficiency, retirements and people leaving the agency for other reasons.  

Whatever the reason, the impact of hiring these new enforcement workers could be significant. Each dollar that is invested in the IRS reportedly returns at least $4 to the treasury, but the numbers are even higher when looking only at adding new enforcement workers.

For each dollar spent when an enforcement position is added, the dollar typically returns close to $10 to the U.S. Treasury. Of course, this money comes out of the pockets of those taxpayers who are audited and may feel as if they have few options when dealing with the immense power of the IRS. 

If you are concerned about potentially being audited, you need to talk with tax lawyer Kevin Thorn about whether there are any options for voluntary compliance. If you can take advantage of programs wherein you report your own failure to follow tax laws in the past, you may get reduced fines or penalties.

You can also get help making arrangements to deal with back tax issues or with responding to an audit to argue you did not violate any tax rules and have paid all you owe. Contact a tax attorney in Maryland as soon as possible before you find yourself facing one of the new IRS enforcement agents without a clear plan for how to protect your finances.

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