Cheat on your taxes? It just got a lot easier
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/16/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
If you cheat on your taxes - or senselessly worry that some indiscretion in your recent past will have the Internal Revenue Service shortly breathing down your neck - things just got a little bit brighter. The GOP-controlled House has voted to slash the budget for the IRS' tax enforcement division by $1.2 billion. That's a 25 percent cut which in the long run translates into fewer audits of taxpayers.
If you still fear a knock at your door anytime soon, it must be noted that one's chances of getting audited vary greatly and are based on income.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Approved by a voice vote following little debate, the House took up a $21 billion spending bill that sets the IRS budget.
It comes as little surprise. There has been growing GOP indignation over the agency's scrutiny of tea party groups that sought tax-exempt status. Republicans were also frustrated over the agency's failure to produce thousands of emails by Lois Lerner, who was formerly in charge of the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status.
"The use of a government agency to harass, target, intimidate and threaten lawful, honest citizens was the worst form of authoritarianism," Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. declared, Gosar is the author of an amendment to cut the IRS tax enforcement budget by $353 million.
Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., followed up with an amendment to cut $788 million more.
The Democratic floor leader on the funding bill, Rep. Jose Serrano of New York, opposed the amendments but opted against demanding a roll call vote.
"The answer is not to cut the IRS to bare bones, because our next problem is that the deficit will continue to grow because we won't be able to do the proper collecting of tax dollars in this country," Serrano said.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen pointed out that budget cuts already are hurting the agency's ability to police tax returns.
In either case, taxpayers' chances of getting audited are lower now than they have in years. The IRS will have even fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since at least the 1980s.
If you still fear a knock at your door anytime soon, it must be noted that one's chances of getting audited vary greatly and are based on income. The more you make, the more likely you are to get a letter from the IRS.
Only 0.9 percent of people making less than $200,000 were audited last year, according to IRS statistics. That's the lowest rate since the IRS began publishing the statistic in 2006.
By contrast, 10.9 percent of people making $1 million or more were audited, the lowest rate since 2010.
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