Income tax audits plummet as IRS loses agents to budget cuts
WASHINGTON - As millions of Americans file their income tax returns, their chances of getting audited by the IRS have rarely been so low.
The number of people audited by the IRS in 2016 dropped for the sixth straight year, to just over 1 million. The last time so few people were audited was 2004.
The IRS blames budget cuts, and this year's budget isn't any higher than last year's.
The IRS has seen its budget shrink from $12.2 billion in the 2010 budget year to $11.2 billion last year. Over that period, the agency has lost more than 17,000 employees.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says fewer audits means less tax revenue. He says the budget cuts are costing the government between $4 billion and $8 billion a year in uncollected taxes.