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Millionaires, the IRS has been auditing more of you

January 06, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • If you have a lot of these to fan around, you may be more likely to undergo an IRS audit, a new report indicates.
If you have a lot of these to fan around, you may be more likely to undergo an… (Atta Kenare / AFP / Getty…)

Millionaires beware: The IRS is becoming more interested in you. If you’re pulling in less than $200,000, there’s not much to worry about.

The Internal Revenue Service said this week in an enforcement report that it audited 12.5% of wealthy taxpayers in fiscal 2011, up from 8% in 2010 and 6% in 2009. About 4% of those earning $200,000 and up were audited, up from 3% the year before.

But for the last five years, the agency has mostly left returns showing less than $200,000 in income alone, with around 1% facing audits.

Same goes for companies. Businesses with $250 million in assets have a 27.6% audit rate compared to 1% of firms with less than $10 million in assets.

Of 141 million individual returns filed last year – more than three-quarters submitted electronically -- there were 1.56 million audits total, according to the IRS. Of those, only about a quarter result in in-person visits from tax officials.

The IRS’s enforcement process led to taxpayers paying out an additional $55.2 billion last year. The agency also seized 776 pieces of property and used property liens 1 million times.

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