I.R.S. Audits Falling, for Corporations Anyway

Tax audits aim more at individuals (not corporations), says ’s Cincinnati Enquirer:

America’s largest corporations are less likely to face an Internal Revenue Service audit than at any time in the past decade.…

IRS statistics show that the number of corporate audits has tumbled , when 2 percent of all corporations and 26 percent of companies with more than $10 million in assets were audited.

, 0.87 percent of all corporations and 12 percent of the $10 million-plus companies were audited.

There’s more money to be made by auditing big corporations rather than ordinary schmoes, you’d think, right? Well, maybe, but it’s harder to get at because the corporations are better able to fight back. Here’s how IRS Commissioner Mark Everson put it :

“The length of time it takes us to complete the audit of a large, complex corporation is five years from the date the return is filed, which in most cases is already eight and one-half months after year end. And these figures don’t include the appeals process, which runs another two years before the matter is settled or goes to court. That means that half of our current inventory of large cases is from . In today’s rapidly changing world, we might as well be looking at transactions from the Civil War.”