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Wilmington NC Tax Accountant comments on the IRS Data Book

Tax accountant in Wilmington NC comments on the IRS Data Book

Gary Bode, CPA: most of like to complain about the IRS. But let's give them credit for what they accomplish. If you'd like a free initial consult with a tax accountant, call us at 399-2705.

Because I’m a CPA tax accountant, friends and clients frequently bring up the IRS as conversational fodder.  Folks just seem to be fascinated with them.  The IRS actually publishes a lot of information about itself.  One of the more interesting annual documents they produce is the Data Book, which is an annual snapshot of agency activities for its fiscal year. 

The Amazing Amount of IRS Data

The first thing that hits you in this Data Book is the sheer number of returns the IRS processes annually. 230,000,000 in their fiscal year. Many with hundreds of pieces of information. And, with E-File returns, which the IRS estimates at almost 70%, all that information is cross checked for internal accuracy, and, cross correlated with other information, like W-2s and Form 1099-MISC for example.  Astonishing actually.  Plus they keep good detail on returns for up to 10 years in some cases.  Not to mention all the non tax return administrative detail they process.

IRS Effectiveness

The IRS states it spends 53 cents to collect $100 of tax revenue.  But this is misleading.  Why?  Because they require taxpayers to do some of their work for them.  But when Congress talks about cutting IRS funding, remember tax revenues actually fall by about 190 times the amount cut.  But the real measure of IRS effectiveness is the number of refunds they make.  Why?  Most refunds reflect an over collection of taxes during the tax year.  Via employment taxes and estimated tax payments.

The Link

It makes for interesting reading, even if you’re not a tax accountant.


I’m a Wilmington NC tax accountant. Please read any of our posts to better gauge our expertise and proactive attitude. If you’d like a free initial consult on taxation or accounting issue, please consider calling us at (910) 399-2705.

Here’s the IRS promo E Mail:

IRS Releases 2010 Data Book

IR-2011-27, March 14, 2011

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced the release of the 2010 IRS Data Book, an annual snapshot of agency activities for the fiscal year.

The report describes activities conducted by the IRS from Oct. 1, 2009, to Sept. 30, 2010, and includes information about returns filed, tax collections, enforcement and taxpayer assistance, as well as the IRS budget and workforce.

During fiscal year 2010, the IRS collected $2.3 trillion in revenue, and processed 230 million returns. More than 116 million returns, including almost 70 percent of individual income tax returns, were filed electronically. More than 119 million individual income tax return filers received a tax refund, totaling $358 billion. In fiscal year 2010, IRS spent an average of 53 cents to collect each $100 of tax revenue.

The IRS examined more than 1.5 million individual income tax returns and nearly 30,000 returns filed by corporations, excluding S corporations. The IRS provided taxpayer assistance through 305 million visits to IRS.gov and assisted more than 78 million taxpayers through its telephone helpline or at walk-in sites.

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