Budget cuts, lost employees limit ability of IRS to audit you

We have talked about the impending Tax Day and the fears that many people have about an audit on this blog a lot recently. These fears are rational from the perspective of someone undergoing an audit. The punishment and consequences with this action by the Internal Revenue Service are severe, and no one wants to deal with the monotony of an audit.

However, there is good news as we get deeper into 2017. In 2016, the number of people that were audited by the IRS dropped to just over 1 million. That may still seem like a huge number, but it is actually the fewest number of people audited by the agency since 2004. When you consider that the U.S. population has increased by 30 million people from 2004 to 2016, that's an astonishing development.

The IRS has faced significant budget cuts over the years, as they have lost roughly $1 billion in annual funding. Additionally, they have lost some 17,000 employees during this time, with a significant portion of those employees lost coming from enforcement. This means that, at this time, you have an incredibly low chance of being audited.

However, you shouldn't take this news as an alert to disobey your tax obligations or fraudulently file false information to the IRS. Instead, it is simply a bit of news to remind you that you odds of being audited are very low. If you do get audited, then you will need to consider your legal options and talk about your case with an attorney.

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