This section of the IRS Data Book highlights the IRS’s compliance efforts. Examinations (audits) of most types of tax returns, information reporting and verification, math error notices, and criminal investigations are critical tools for determining if income, expenses and credits are being accurately reported and to identify and resolve taxpayer errors and identify fraud. These tools ensure that IRS has a presence across all income and asset levels of taxpayers. While the IRS accepts most returns as filed, some are selected for examination using various methods, including random sampling and computerized screening. Most IRS examinations are conducted through the mail (correspondence) or face-to-face (field).
Highlights of the Data
- For all returns filed for Tax Years 2010 through 2018, the IRS examined 0.60 percent of individual returns and 0.97 percent of all corporation returns (Table 17a (XLSX)).
- In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, the IRS audited 771,095 tax returns, resulting in nearly $17.3 billion in recommended additional tax (Table 17b (XLSX)).
- The IRS closed more than 1.9 million cases under the Automated Underreporter Program in FY 2019, resulting in almost $6.7 billion in additional assessments; additionally, the IRS closed more than 364,000 cases under its Automated Substitute for Return Program, resulting in nearly $6.6 billion in additional assessments (Table 17b (XLSX)).
Compliance Presence: Tables 17a–24
Table 17a: Examination Coverage and Recommended Additional Tax After Examination, by Type and Size of Return, Tax Years 2010–2018 (XLSX)
Table 17b: Examination Coverage: Recommended and Average Recommended Additional Tax After Examination, by Type and Size of Return, Fiscal Year 2019 (XLSX)
Table 18: Examination Coverage: Returns Examined with Unagreed Recommended Additional Tax After Examination, by Type and Size of Return, Fiscal Year 2019 (XLSX)
Table 19: Examination Coverage: Returns Examined Involving Protection of Revenue Base, by Type and Size (XLSX)
Table 20: Examination Coverage: Returns Examined Resulting in Refunds, by Type and Size of Return, Fiscal Year 2019 (XLSX)
Table 21: Examinations of Tax-Exempt Organizations, Employee Retirement Plans, Government Entities, and Tax-Exempt Bonds, by Type of Return, Fiscal Year 2019 (XLSX)
Table 22: Information Reporting Program, Fiscal Year 2019 (XLSX)
Table 23: Math Errors on Individual Income Tax Returns, by Type of Error, Fiscal Year 2019 (XLSX)
Table 24: Criminal Investigation Program, by Status or Disposition, Fiscal Year 2019 (XLSX)
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