IRS releases new Data Book with redesigned, expanded format to provide more detailed view of service, compliance activities in FY 2019

 

IR-2020-133, June 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today unveiled the 2019 IRS Data Book, featuring a redesigned format that provides a different and expanded look at IRS accomplishments during the past year.

Available now on IRS.gov, the redesigned Fiscal Year 2019 edition of the IRS Data Book provides the annual set of statistical tables summarizing tax filings, revenue collections, taxpayer services, enforcement activities and agency operations. The new Data Book features an updated format with additional tables designed to more accurately reflect the way the IRS does business today.

"The IRS is changing from many perspectives, and the Data Book reflects that change as well," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig wrote in the Data Book's introduction. "Along those lines, we've redesigned the Data Book for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 by reorganizing key material and adding new information. This is part of an effort to help the Data Book provide a more complete view of our extensive service and compliance operations in a clear format that is easier to use for taxpayers and the tax community."

The Data Book complements the new IRS Progress Update (PDF), a new annual report that premiered in January.

"In presenting this information, our goal is to help everyone understand the scope of our work for the nation," Rettig added. "The IRS touches more Americans than any other entity, public or private. Our employees take pride in providing top-quality service to taxpayers — helping them meet their tax obligations through clear guidance while ensuring their rights are protected. When citizens can perform their civic duty each year by preparing and filing their taxes and paying only what they should, they help fund critical aspects of the United States, ranging from schools and roads to Social Security payments and the nation's military."

Rettig also notes the IRS response to COVID-19 in the new Data Book. The coronavirus delayed publication of this year's Data Book.

As Rettig further noted, "we realize when the public thinks of compliance, they think of audits, but there is so much more to our work to ensure appropriate compliance with the tax law and serve the nation. We've created a new section called "Compliance Presence," so everyone can easily see the many different activities related to enforcement. Beyond traditional examinations, these activities include more than 5 million compliance steps the IRS takes every year to ensure fairness in our tax system."

Among the compliance steps, illustrated by statistics in this section, are math error notices, matching tax return entries to information returns filed by employers, banks and other third parties, and casework by IRS Criminal Investigation.

Recognizing that audits can take several years to complete, for example, new Table 17a takes a long-term view by presenting both audits closed and audits in progress, tied to tax returns for tax-years 2010 through 2018. The new table also presents data based on the taxpayer's total positive income, excluding losses, the same measure the IRS uses to assign exam codes.

This year for the first time, the Data Book also shows the number of installment payment agreements set up by individuals and businesses with the IRS. Another addition is the number of Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers (IP PINs) issued for filing years 2011-2020 to certain victims of tax-related identity theft.

The new Data Book shows that during FY 2019, the IRS:

  • Processed more than 253 million individual and business tax returns and forms, with nearly 73% of them filed electronically. Of that total, about 154 million were individual income tax returns, with about 89% of them being e-filed.
  • Collected more than $3.5 trillion in Federal taxes paid by individuals and businesses, with the individual income tax accounting for about 56% of the total.
  • Issued nearly 121.9 million refunds to individuals and businesses totaling more than $452 billion. The bulk of them — more than 119.8 million totaling over $270 billion — went to individual income tax filers. Of that total, nearly 17.3 million included a refundable Child Tax Credit and nearly 24.6 million included a refundable Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Attracted nearly 651 million visits to IRS.gov, its popular website.
  • Set up more than 2.8 million new payment or installment agreements, with nearly 1.1 million of them established online at IRS.gov.
  • Reinvigorated its non-filer compliance initiative by closing over 364,000 cases under the Automated Substitute for Return Program, resulting in nearly $6.6 billion in additional assessments.
  • Completed nearly 2,800 criminal investigations.

To view or download a pdf file of the complete FY 2019 IRS Data Book, Excel files of any of its 34 tables, or Data Books or tables from past years, visit the Statistics of Income page on IRS.gov.