Economy, Regs, & Taxes

Risk of Audit Rises With Income

The new "fairness" is part of what Obama meant by "fundamentally transforming" America.

Mar. 18, 2014

Audit rates for more affluent taxpayers have risen quite a bit since Barack Obama took office, according to figures made available by the IRS. He wasn’t kidding when he famously said on the campaign trail in 2008 that he wanted to “spread the wealth” around a little. Using the dreaded IRS audit has been a reliable tool in his socialist arsenal.

The rate of audit for taxpayers earning less than $200,000 per year fell from 0.96% to 0.88% between 2009 and 2013, while audits for taxpayers earning between $200,000 and $1 million went from 2.89% to 3.26%. Audit rates for those making over $1 million went from just over 6% to almost 11%. Now, in Obama’s America, one in every 10 people making over $1 million a year can expect to be audited. That’s what he calls “fairness.”

This refocusing of IRS efforts comes when the agency as a whole is facing budget constraints that have forced it to drastically reduce customer service resources. Average hold times for callers have more doubled since 2010, and taxpayer letters take longer than 45 days to answer.

About the only thing the IRS is good for these days is being a political weapon for the Obama administration. The agency has yet to answer for its highly specific targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups for auditing in the year preceding Obama’s re-election, and “retired” administrator Lois Lerner still refuses to explain her role in the scandal. They operated with impunity in shutting down and hamstringing a number of nonprofit groups that were critical of the administration and its policies, but this past year top officials at the cash-strapped agency were rewarded with $62.5 million in bonuses for their work. So, the IRS is now pretty much openly operating as a thug-ocracy for the president. Job well done, boys and girls. Well done.

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