August 27, 2020 10:24 pm

IRS Data Book Insights into Audits and Collections

The IRS released the 2019 Data Book (, which is a snapshot of IRS activities for the government’s fiscal year from October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019. The book has been redesigned and provides an expanded look at IRS accomplishments regarding revenue collections, taxpayer services, and enforcement activities. Some key information includes:

  • The IRS processed more than 253 million individual and business returns, 73% of which were filed electronically.
  • The government collected more than $3.5 trillion in federal taxes; individual income taxes accounted for 56% of this total.
  • The IRS issued nearly 119.8 million refunds to individuals totaling over $270 billion.
  • More than 2.8 million new installment agreements were set up.
  • The overall audit rate for individuals was about 0.15%. And even very high income individuals faced a modest chance of being audited (e.g., those with income over $1 million had a less than 1% chance).

The IRS also surveyed taxpayers on certain areas and found that satisfaction with their personal interactions with the IRS has increased since 2017, with most taxpayers being satisfied. Nearly all taxpayers consider paying their fair share of taxes to be their civic duty. And most agree that cheating on their income taxes isn’t acceptable.

Tax Glossary

Net operating loss

A business loss that exceeds current income may be carried back against income of prior years and carried forward as a deduction from future income until eliminated.

More terms