Is IRS doing more with less or less with less? On October 1st, TIGTA released a 62 page report (PDF) on how well IRS is doing its main job – collecting taxes. Some highlights:
- IRS’ budget dropped 7.4%, not inflation adjusted, between 2010 and 2013
- For 2013, IRS had 86,310 employees or 8,308 (about 9%) fewer than in 2010
- Collections increase 13% over the same time period to $2.9 trillion (Drew’s comment – some of this is probably due to tax law changes)
- The amount collected from delinquent taxpayers decreased
- IRS conducted 6% fewer audits in 2013 than in 2012
Since Congress cut IRS’ budget, it is not surprising audits declined and collections from delinquent taxpayers dropped. Cutting their budget has also resulted in worse customer service, see my prior post where I discussed this. So Congress feels cutting IRS’ budget is penalizing IRS but Congress forgets it is penalizing honest taxpayers in at least two ways – (1) By allowing tax cheats to not pay their fair share resulting in the honest paying more and (2) providing worse customer service that frustrates taxpayers just trying to understand and comply with the law.
Congress needs to reform IRS and our tax laws, not punish IRS and honest taxpayers.