5/08/2014

Tea party donors audited at 10 times the rate of other taxpayers

From the Washington Times:
Despite assurances to the contrary, the IRS didn’t destroy all of the donor lists scooped up in its tea party targeting — and a check of those lists reveals that the tax agency audited 10 percent of those donors, much higher than the audit rate for average Americans, House Republicans revealed Wednesday. . . . 
Republicans said 24 conservative groups were asked for their donor lists. The IRS initially told Congress that those lists were destroyed, but when they went through their files they discovered three lists that weren’t destroyed. 
Rep. Dave Camp, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, asked the IRS to review the names on those lists to see whether any had been audited. The IRS reported back that 10 percent were audited — substantially higher than the average rate of 1 percent of average Americans who are audited each year. . . .
The IRS audit rate for tea party donors is three times the rate for those making above $200,000 per year.  You have to hit an income of over a million dollars a year before you audit rate gets to be about 10 percent.  To put it differently, only if all the Tea Party donors are making over $1 million per year, would you expect them to reach the audit rate that is observed.  Instead I suspect that Tea Party individuals were pretty much all middle income individuals, so the actually rate of auditing is well obviously dramatically higher than 10-to-1.  Even if they were audited at the same rate as the average taxpayer, the rate would actually be 11.4-to-1.  The Washington Times thus very likely understated the bias against conservative donors.

Here is some information on audit rates.
As incomes climb, so does the audit coverage rate. The IRS selected 3.26 percent of returns for examination from taxpayers with incomes above $200,000 in 2013 compared to 0.88 percent for taxpayers with incomes under $200,000. Both percentages reflected a drop from 2012, when the IRS selected 3.70 percent of returns for examination from taxpayers with incomes above $200,000 and 0.94 percent of returns for examination from taxpayers with incomes under $200,000.
The audit rate for taxpayers with incomes over $1 million also fell in 2013. The IRS selected 10.85 percent of returns for examination from taxpayers with incomes above $1 million . . . . 
More on this case from Fox News

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