Tax Administration:

Audit Trends and Results for Individual Taxpayers

GGD-96-91: Published: Apr 26, 1996. Publicly Released: May 22, 1996.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) audits of individual taxpayers, focusing on: (1) IRS audit rates for individual returns; and (2) the overall results of IRS most recent audits of individual returns.

GAO found that: (1) while the audit rate for individuals decreased between fiscal years (FY) 1988 and 1993 from 1.57 percent to .92 percent, it increased to 1.67 percent by FY 1995; (2) between FY 1992 and FY 1994, the number of audited computer-selected returns and returns with potential tax shelters declined by half, while the number of audited returns with potential nonfilers and returns with unallowable items tripled; (3) audit rates varied by region and district office; (4) between FY 1988 and FY 1995, audit rates were highest in the western region of the country and lowest in the central United States; (5) between FY 1988 and FY 1995, audit rates increased among those in the lowest-income group and decreased among those in the highest-income group; (6) audits of the highest-income group yielded the most recommended additional tax per return; and (7) between FY 1992 and 1994, additional taxes recommended for each direct audit hour increased for business individuals in the lowest and highest-income groups and nonbusiness individuals in the lowest-income group, and decreased for nonbusiness individuals in the highest-income group.

Sep 18, 2018

Sep 10, 2018

Aug 23, 2018

Jul 31, 2018

Jul 23, 2018

Jun 28, 2018

May 7, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Dec 20, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here