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Income tax audits plummet as IRS loses agents to budget cuts

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Income tax audits plummet as IRS loses agents to budget cuts
As millions of Americans file their income tax returns, their chances of getting audited by the IRS have rarely been so low.

The number of people audited by the IRS in 2016 year dropped for the sixth straight year, to just over 1 million. The last time so few people were audited was 2004. Since then, the U.S. has added about 30 million people.

The IRS blames budget cuts as money for the agency shrunk from $12.2 billion in 2010 to $11.2 billion last year. Over that period, the agency has lost more than 17,000 employees, including nearly 7,000 enforcement agents. A little more than 80,000 people work at the IRS.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said budget cuts are costing the federal government between $4 billion and $8 billion a year in uncollected taxes.

“We are the only agency if you give us more people and money, we give you more money back,” Koskinen said in an interview.

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