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Chance of an IRS Audit by County

I saw this map on Ace of Spades blog – and decided to find the source article.  It’s at projects.propublica.orgit.  I’d been reading an email from Jon Tester on how great the Inflation Reduction Act is . . . though he didn’t stress that it will more than double the number of IRS agents at a cost of 80 billion dollars.

The map at the link is interactive – so clicking on Lincoln County, I learn that we’re a little more likely to get audited here than in Missoula County (among others) – but it depends on how much you make:

“Kim M. Bloomquist, the author of the study, which was first published in the industry journal Tax Notes, served as a senior economist with the IRS’ research division for two decades. He decided to map the distribution of audits to illustrate the dramatic regional effects of the IRS’ emphasis on EITC audits. Because more than a third of all audits are of EITC recipients, the number of audits in each county is largely a reflection of how many taxpayers there claimed the credit, he found.”

I noticed that there seem to be more audits on Reservations – but I suspect that as a western rural demographer that’s something I spot readily.  The study explains: “The five counties with the highest audit rates are all predominantly African American, rural counties in the Deep South. The audit rate is also very high in South Texas’ largely Hispanic counties and in counties with Native American reservations, such as in South Dakota. Primarily poor, white counties, such as those in eastern Kentucky in Appalachia, also have elevated audit rates.”

Click the link – if we’re going to see the IRS workforce doubled, it’s probably a very relevant read in the immediate future.  There aren’t enough billionaires to keep 86,000 more IRS employees busy with audits.  According to irs.gov “in FY 2021, the IRS used 78,661 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in conducting its work, a decrease of 12.9 percent since FY 2012.”

I don’t know how 86,000 more IRS agents are going to correct inflation – but Jon Tester seems convinced it will work.

1 thought on “Chance of an IRS Audit by County”

  1. Liars can figure but bottom line is the figures will not lie, truth is on the horizon. The Inflation Reduction Act seems to have little to do with reducing inflation and lots to do with a “Pork Barreling Agenda.” Typical demagoguery.

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