Repetitive IRS Audits of Taxpayers Are Justified

GGD-77-74: Published: Nov 18, 1977. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 1977.

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits a relatively small number of individual taxpayers each year. Overall, taxpayers who have been audited repetitively by the IRS were audited because their returns fit the usual selection criteria. However, IRS should reduce the number of repetitively audited taxpayers.

All returns are selected for audit through the same system, and the system generally protects against selection abuse. Repetitive audits are like all audits in terms of recommended tax increases, indicating that taxpayers were not repeatedly selected unless tax adjustments were probable. About 60 percent of repetitive audits resulted from: high scores under the computer-generated audit selection program, unallowable items on the return, or selection by an auditor as a result of auditing another year's return.

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