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Audits fell in FY17: Latest IRS Data Book



In the 2017 fiscal year, the IRS audited nearly 934,000 individual income tax returns for the year, the lowest number of audits since 2003, according to the recently published 2017 IRS Data Book.

The probability of being audited dropped to 0.6 Percent – The lowest recorded rate since 2002.

The Data Book describes the IRS activities from October 1, 2016 to September 30, and includes information on returns, refunds, exams, and appeals. It also includes charts showing the changes in IRS enforcement activities, taxpayers, exempt activities, workload, and IRS budget, as well as the number of employees compared to the 201

6 fiscal year.

Among other report highlights of the FY17:

  • The IRS provided taxpayer assistance through nearly half a billion visits to IRS.gov and helped more than 53 million taxpayers through correspondence, toll-free helplines or walk-in sites ,
  • The application "Where is my refund?" Also attracted more than 278 million inquiries
  • The IRS raised more than $ 3.4 trillion, processed more than 245 million tax returns and other forms, and spent more than 121 million individual income rewards totaling nearly $ 437 billion
  • The IRS Criminal Division closed 524 investigations on tax issues ID thefts
  • Levies dropped 32 percent from the previous year. The agency filed around five percent fewer pledges than in the 2016 financial year.

An electronic version of the IRS 2017 data book can be found on the Tax Statistics page of IRS.gov. Printed copies will be available from May at the US 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.


  Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is a seasoned freelance journalist who previously worked as an editor of The Practical Accountant.


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