The IRS audited slightly more than 1 million returns of individuals in Fiscal Year 2016, down almost 16 percent from the prior year’s 1.2 million, according to the latest IRS Data Book.

The coverage of individuals audited fell to 0.7 percent, the lowest coverage rate in more than a decade. IRS levies were down 40 percent compared with the prior year, and the agency filed almost 9 percent fewer liens than in the prior year.

The 2016 Data Book describes IRS activities from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016, and includes information about returns filed, taxes collected, enforcement, taxpayer assistance, the IRS budget and workforce as well as other data.

Among other highlights:

  • Greater numbers of taxpayers used IRS.gov. The most popular feature, “Where’s My Refund,” was used almost 300 million times during FY 2016, up more than 27 percent from the prior year.
  • The IRS collected more than $3.3 trillion, processed more than 244 million returns and other forms, and issued more than $426 billion in refunds in the period reported.

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Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.