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Enforcement: Collections, Penalties & Criminal Investigation

The mission of the IRS’s Collection function is to collect Federal taxes that have been reported or assessed but not paid, and to secure tax returns that have not been filed. Additionally, failure to comply may result in civil penalties or, in some cases, criminal investigation, which may in turn result in prosecution, fines, and imprisonment. Section 4 of the IRS Data Book presents information on collections, penalties, and criminal prosecutions resulting from individuals’ or entities’ failure to comply with the tax code. 

Graphic 4 shows the number of criminal investigations completed by status or disposition for fiscal year 2016. There were 573 identity theft cases initiated and 743 identity theft cases completed in fiscal year 2016.

View details (XLS). For additional graphs from this section, download the PDF of this year’s Data Book.

Highlights of the Data

  • Overall, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the IRS collected, net of credit transfers, almost $37.4 billion in unpaid assessments on returns filed with additional tax due (Table 16).
  • The IRS assessed close to $12.5 billion in additional taxes for returns not filed timely and collected almost $2.3 billion with delinquent returns (Table 16).
  • The IRS assessed $27.3 billion in civil penalties. Approximately $12.1 billion was assessed in civil penalties on individual and estate and trust income tax returns (Table 17).
  • In FY 2016, the IRS initiated 573 cases and completed 743 cases related to identity theft (Table 18).

Prior-Year Data


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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 30-Mar-2017