Despite Internal Revenue Service assertions that it had halted the decline in the government's efforts to police corporate tax non-compliance, the pace of corporate audits is running well below record-low levels registered in 2003, according to an analysis of IRS data.

IRS data for the first six months of fiscal 2004 show that the annual pace of audits for all corporations has continued to drop, and is running 26 percent below what it was in FY 2003 so far, according to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. Similarly, TRAC reported that the actual hours spent examining corporate tax returns during the first half of the year is running 30 percent below last year's pace.

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