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.
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).