IRS Odds of Getting Audited Increase with Income

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Statistics from the Internal Revenue Service indicate that taxpayers with income under $200,000 have less chance of being audited than those in higher income ranges.

The IRS’s fiscal year 2009 enforcement results indicate that the IRS conducted far more examinations of taxpayers with incomes under $200,000 than of higher-income taxpayers: 1,280,735 compared to 145,153 of those with incomes $200,000 or higher.

However, there are far more taxpayers who are making under $200,000. The coverage rate for them, though, is 0.96 percent, meaning less than 1 percent of them are being audited.

In contrast, those with incomes of $200,000 and higher are subject to a coverage rate of 2.89 percent, while those with incomes of $1 million or higher are audited at a rate of 6.42 percent. There were 28,349 audits of those making over $1 million.

Audits jumped 11 percent from 2008 and 2009 for those making $200,000 or more, and 30 percent for those who earned $1 million or more, the Associated Press pointed out in an analysis of the enforcement results. However, the numbers remained steady for those with incomes below $200,000.

That could provide some small solace to the many who saw their salaries decline significantly in the past year.

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