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Gutting the IRS

Who Wins When a Crucial Agency Is Defunded

A multiyear campaign to slash the IRS budget has left it understaffed and on the defensive. That’s been good news for tax cheats, the rich, and big corporations — but not for the poor.

It’s Getting Worse: The IRS Now Audits Poor Americans at About the Same Rate as the Top 1%

As the agency’s ability to audit the rich crumbles, its scrutiny of the poor has held steady in recent years. Meanwhile, a new study shows that audits of poor taxpayers make them far less likely to claim credits they might be entitled to.

You Can’t Tax the Rich Without the IRS

Until the budget-starved agency is restored, corporations and the wealthy will easily fend off attempts to increase the rates they pay.

¿Qué personas tienen mayor probabilidad de ser sometidas a auditoría? ¿Alguien que gane $20 mil dólares o alguien que gane $400 mil?

Si usted reclama el crédito por ingreso del trabajo (Earned Income Tax Credit – EITC), cuyo beneficiario promedio gana menos de $20,000 dólares anuales, tiene una mayor probabilidad de enfrentarse a un escrutinio de parte del IRS comparado con alguien que gane veinte veces más. ¿Cómo es que un beneficio para los trabajadores pobres se ha estado ejecutando en contra de ellos?

How the IRS Gave Up Fighting Political Dark Money Groups

Six years after it was excoriated for allegedly targeting conservative organizations, the agency has largely given up on regulating an entire category of nonprofits. The result: More dark money gushes into the political system.

Lawmakers Just Confronted the IRS Over Tax Audits That Target the Poor

Following up on ProPublica stories about the IRS, lawmakers pressed the commissioner on the agency’s disproportionate focus on auditing the working poor while examinations of the rich plummeted.

Alabama Senator to the IRS: Stop Picking on the South

Why are the rural poor audited more frequently than other groups, he asks, citing ProPublica. Another Democratic senator adds, “There are two tax codes in America, and there are also two enforcement regimes.”

The IRS Tried to Take on the Ultrawealthy. It Didn’t Go Well.

Ten years ago, the tax agency formed a special team to unravel the complex tax-lowering strategies of the nation’s wealthiest people. But with big money — and Congress — arrayed against the team, it never had a chance.

Where in the U.S. Are You Most Likely to Be Audited by the IRS?

A new study shows dramatic regional differences in who gets audited. The hardest hit? Poor workers across the country.

Senators Urge IRS to Focus on Big-Time Tax Cheats, Citing ProPublica Stories

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and three fellow senators say the agency should do more to tackle financial crimes, even in the face of crippling budget cuts.

Who’s More Likely to Be Audited: A Person Making $20,000 — or $400,000?

If you claim the earned income tax credit, whose average recipient makes less than $20,000 a year, you’re more likely to face IRS scrutiny than someone making twenty times as much. How a benefit for the working poor was turned against them.

Americans Dodge $660 Billion in Taxes Each Year — And It’s Probably Getting Worse

The IRS is underfunded and understaffed. One result: audits of the wealthy are rapidly declining.

How the IRS Was Gutted

An eight-year campaign to slash the agency’s budget has left it understaffed, hamstrung and operating with archaic equipment. The result: billions less to fund the government. That’s good news for corporations and the wealthy.

You Don’t Earn Much and You’re Being Audited by the IRS. Now What?

Millions of low-income families rely on the earned income tax credit. We took an IRS audit notice sent to one taxpayer who’d claimed the EITC and annotated it to help explain what it really means.

After Budget Cuts, the IRS’ Work Against Tax Cheats Is Facing “Collapse”

Audits and criminal referrals are down sharply since Congress cut the tax agency’s budget and management changed priorities.

How Are Things at the IRS? Help Us Get the Real Story.

ProPublica would like to hear from people who have worked at the Internal Revenue Service or are otherwise knowledgeable about tax enforcement.

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