The IRS released 2017 IRS Data Book, an 86 page compendium of various statistics related to the IRS’s operations.
One of the key facts that has created a lot of discussion in the tax press is the fact that the audit rate in 2017 dropped to its lowest level since 2003. Less than 1,000,000 examinations took place in 2017.
The report also noted that collection activities were also down in 2017. Levies were down by 32% and liens dropped by 5% over the prior year levels.
Not surprisingly, these reductions also lead to a reduction in the amount of enforcement revenue taken in by the IRS.
The IRS did show improvements in phone service, something that might surprise professionals who have gotten used to long holds and the infamous “courtesy disconnect” while awaiting IRS assistance. Call wait times dropped to 8.4 minutes, down from 17.8 minutes in the prior year.
Many more details of IRS operations can be found in the document for those who want to get up to speed on IRS trivia.