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Latest statistics show audit rates flat.

IRS statistics for fiscal 1992 show the audit rate for individual returns remained the same as that in fiscal 1991, 0.91%.

Audit rates for other types of returns increased slightly. For instance, the audit rate for corporate returns was 2.99% in 1992, compared with 2.36% in 1991. The rate for partnership returns was 0.73%, compared with 0.63% in 1991.

The rate at which estate tax returns were audited in 1992 was 18.6%, compared with a rate of 17.98% in 1991.

The only category in which the audit rate fell was exempt organization returns, which fell from 3.06% in 1991 to 2.46% in 1992.

Congressional and Government Accounting Office critics say an audit rate of less than 1% does not do the job of promoting taxpayer compliance with the tax laws and the overall audit rate's steady downward trend during the past 30 years should be reversed.

Thirty years ago, the individual audit rate was 5.1%. However, the IRS responds that document matching accomplishes much of what individual audits used to accomplish. Further, the IRS claims its approach to audit selection has become more targeted, and therefore more effective.
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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 1, 1993
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