Audits fell in FY17: Latest IRS Data Book

During fiscal 2017 the IRS audited almost 934,000 individual income tax returns during the fiscal year, the lowest number of audits since 2003, according to the recently released 2017 IRS Data Book.

The chance of being audited fell to 0.6 percent – the lowest coverage rate since 2002.

The Data Book describes IRS activities from Oct. 1, 2016, to last Sept. 30, and includes information about returns, refunds, examinations and appeals. It also contains charts showing changes in IRS enforcement activities, taxpayer assistance levels, tax-exempt activities, legal support workload and IRS budget and workforce levels compared with fiscal 2016.

Among other report highlights of FY17:

  • The IRS provided taxpayer assistance through almost a half billion visits to and helped more than 53 million taxpayers through correspondence, toll-free helplines or walk-in sites.
  • The “Where’s My Refund?” application also attracted more than 278 million inquiries.
  • The IRS collected more than $3.4 trillion, processed more than 245 million tax returns and other forms and issued more than 121 million individual income refunds totaling almost $437 billion,
  • The IRS criminal division completed 524 investigations of tax-related ID thefts.
  • Levies were down 32 percent compared with the prior year. The agency filed about five percent fewer liens than in fiscal 2016.

An electronic version of the 2017 IRS Data Book is on the Tax Stats page of Printed copies will be available in May from the U.S. Government Printing Office. Write to the Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. Call (202) 512-1800 or fax a request to (202) 512-2250.

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