TRAC: High-wealth tax audits off to slow start
Very timely data from the Internal Revenue Service shows that a new agency program to investigate how well or poorly high-wealth individuals are complying with the nation’s tax laws has gotten off to a very slow start.
The program and the creation of a whole new group to implement it was announced by Commissioner Douglas Shulman in a series of speeches beginning in the fall of 2009. But based on month-to-month internal agency reports obtained by SU’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Global High Wealth Industry Group (GHWIG) through the end of last month has only audited 13 returns during the previous year and a half. Because a single taxpayer at this level frequently will file different kinds of returns, the number of individuals who so far have been targeted is almost certainly very small.
Despite Shulman’s speeches, other information obtained by TRAC further shows that as of last October only 78 agents had been assigned to the GHWIG.
To read the full report, go to http://trac.syr.edu/tracirs/newfindings/current
TRAC is a data gathering, data research and data distribution organization at Syracuse University. The purpose of TRAC is to provide the American people—and institutions of oversight such as Congress, news organizations, public interest groups, businesses, scholars and lawyers—with comprehensive information about staffing, spending and enforcement activities of the federal government.