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Tax Stats: October 2012

Our monthly collection of statistics from the world of tax, from Beyond415

Our third tax stat for October has the IRS's latest stats on who's practicing before it.

The IRS Return Preparer Office recently released official stats regarding who's practicing before and who holds what designations, as of Oct. 1, 2012. Not included: 545 Enrolled Actuaries and 554 Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents, as well as 57,049 supervised preparers and 45,930 non-1040 preparers.

Source: IRS.gov

The height of estate tax filings was in 2000. Since then, the number of estate tax returns has dropped each year. In 2000, estate taxes made up 1.3 percent of total net taxes collected. In 2011, they represented less than 0.05 percent. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would like to eliminate estate taxes, while President Obama would like to bring estate tax filings back to levels from 2000.

Source: Beyond415; IRS Data Books

In fiscal year 2001, the IRS closed about 538,000 mail audits of individual tax returns, and assessed about $1.4 billion in additional taxes. Ten years later, the IRS more than doubled the number of mail audits, with about 1.2 million correspondence examinations, and $8.7 billion in additional assessed taxes for fiscal year 2011. That represents a more-than-sixfold increase from 2001. With such a high return on investment, the IRS will likely continue to use mail audits to close the tax gap.

Source: Beyond415; Taxpayer Report on Assistance During a Correspondence Audit (September 2012)

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