IRS Completed Only 13 High Wealth Audits in 18 Months

Monday, April 18, 2011
A special unit created in 2009 by the IRS to audit wealthy Americans with foreign assets has investigated only 13 tax returns to date.
The Global High Wealth Industry Group of the IRS audited two returns in fiscal year 2010 and 11 during the first six months of FY 2011, according to the Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) after reviewing IRS records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
TRAC also found that only 78 agents have been assigned to the new unit, compared to almost 5,600 agents working in rest of the Large Business and International Division, which also audits businesses with assets of $10 million or more.
An IRS spokesman disputed TRAC’s assessment, saying their analysis was “incorrect.” But the official did not offer any figures on how many audits had been performed by the new unit.
Defending the unit, the spokesman pointed out to Accounting Today that “It’s important to keep in mind that these taxpayers have elaborate, complex cases involving multiple tax entities—from a handful to numerous entities, frequently in multiple tax jurisdictions. These are intricate cases that will take time to review.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
IRS High Wealth Taxpayer Group Did Just 13 Audits (by Michael Cohn, Accounting Today)
IRS Global High Wealth Taxpayer Program Lags (Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse)


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