The Internal Revenue Service has released new data showing how successive rounds of budget cuts had an impact on activities at the agency last fiscal year.
The 2014 IRS Data Book provides a snapshot of agency activities for fiscal year 2014, from Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014.
“Fiscal Year 2014 marked the fourth consecutive year IRS appropriations were reduced,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a statement. “These reductions required us to change our approach to taxpayer service and enforcement operations; with fewer resources, we saw decreases in the number of phone calls answered and the number of audits completed.”
The report describes IRS activities, including information about tax returns filed, taxes collected, enforcement, taxpayer assistance, and the IRS budget and workforce, among other data. The 2014 Data Book contains charts that show trends, such as the decline in the number of audits and the decline in telephone and in-person tax assistance and increases in the use of online resources and volunteer tax assistance.
During fiscal year 2014, the IRS collected almost $3.1 trillion in federal revenue and processed almost 240 million returns. Approximately 65 percent of all returns were filed electronically. Of the 147 million individual income tax returns filed, 84 percent were e-filed. Over 116 million individual income tax return filers received a tax refund, which totaled over $330 billion. The IRS examined less than 1 percent of all tax returns filed. About 3 percent of all individual tax returns examined resulted in additional refunds.
The IRS provided taxpayer assistance through 437 million visits to IRS.gov and assisted over 69 million taxpayers through its toll-free telephone helpline or at walk-in sites.
The data also showed that Of the almost 1.4 million examinations that the IRS conducted of tax returns, approximately 33,000 taxpayers did not agree with the IRS examiner’s determination, totaling to an unagreed recommended additional tax of about $14.1 billion. In fiscal 2014, examinations protected a total of almost $4.5 billion in refund payments, of which $4.4 billion came from field examinations and $93.3 million from correspondence examinations. Of the 1.2 million examinations of individual income tax returns, more than 38,000 resulted in additional refunds to the taxpayer of $829.5 million.
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