You’re Less Likely to Be Audited — but Is That a Good Thing?

What's Hot

2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

Considering a Fixer-Upper? 15 Ways to Avoid a Money PitGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

20 Tips for Buying a Home in the Best Location, Location, LocationGrow

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

Marijuana Stocks Flaming Out Under TrumpFamily

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

Since 2010, the IRS budget has been cut by 17 percent. What do such cutbacks mean for taxpayers?

Over the past couple of tax seasons, IRS security breaches that have put taxpayers’ sensitive information at risk have highlighted an underlying problem of underfunding.

But a recently updated report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) says that the rise in cybersecurity problems is just one of several ways the shrinking Internal Revenue Service budget hurts the federal agency — and in turn, taxpayers.

Since 2010, the IRS budget has been cut by 17 percent, after adjusting for inflation. That has led to cutbacks in staff and employee training and delays of technology upgrades, according to the CBPP:

These steps, in turn, have weakened the IRS’s ability to enforce the nation’s tax laws and serve taxpayers efficiently.

Less enforcement means fewer audits, which means the IRS recoups less money for the federal government. Less efficient service means taxpayers who need to contact the IRS wait longer on hold — or never get through.

In response to criticism, Congress recently added $290 million to the IRS budget for fiscal year 2016, but the CBPP argues it was “not enough to make up for the deep funding cuts, and the resulting reductions in personnel, the IRS has experienced since 2010.”

As the current IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, testified to Congress last week:

“The IRS has been operating in an extremely difficult budget environment for several years, as our funding has been substantially reduced. In FY 2016, our funding level is more than $900 million lower than it had been in FY 2010.”

The shrinking number of audits is perhaps the most costly side effect of the shrinking IRS budget.

According to the CBPP report, the number of IRS staff devoted to enforcing tax laws has dropped by 23 percent since 2010. As a result, the number of audits conducted in 2015 was 22 percent lower than it was in 2010. Last year, the IRS audited 0.8 percent of individual tax returns, which is the lowest share in a decade.

While fewer audits might sound like good news to taxpayers, it costs the country at large. According to the CBPP, IRS audits have recovered 30 percent — or $30 billion — less in revenue over the past five years compared with the prior five years.

What’s your take on the effects of the IRS budget struggle? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 5 Last-Minute Income Tax Filing Tips to Save You Money and Stress

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,022 more deals!