IRS zeros in on wealthy individuals, companies

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IRS zeros in on wealthy individuals, companiesThe Internal Revenue Service has said it is expanding its audit efforts among rich individuals and companies with foreign operations in an effort to enhance its enforcement.

According to Reuters, the statement came in response to one congressmen citing data which suggests the IRS audit rate for millionaires fell 19 percent between 2007 and 2008, while for big corporations it allegedly declined by 9 percent from 2005 to 2008.

"Our long-term investment is to have a trend where wealthy individuals, large corporations, [and all those] who have benefited from being in the U.S. … pay their taxes," said IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, quoted by the news source.

Shulman has also urged House lawmakers to enact President Obama’s proposals to fight offshore tax evasion, which include a $400 million increase in the IRS enforcement budget over fiscal year 2009 funding levels.

Earlier this year, the IRS announced a six-month amnesty program to encourage individuals and companies holding assets in offshore accounts to voluntarily declare them in exchange for lower penalties and avoidance of criminal prosecution as long as the assets were acquired legally.
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