IRS announces plans to increase audits for the wealthy

With all the other upheaval going on in life these past few months, you would be forgiven for not paying much attention to the news about taxes. However, 2020 has seen quite a few changes in tax law. You probably took note in March, the federal government pushed back the tax deadline for individuals from April to July 15.

Another news item might have slipped your notice: Recently, the IRS said it plans to step up auditing and other tax enforcement against high-net-worth individuals. According to the IRS, high-net-worth individuals owe the government as much as $47.5 billion in taxes that they have not filed. The agency plans to start sending out audit notices later this month.

If the IRS follows through on this announcement, it will represent a sharp turnaround. According to some reports, in recent years the IRS has been slow to enforce tax law against wealthy individuals and companies, even while it has kept audits of the less-wealthy at the same levels as usual. It may have even increased audits of the less-wealthy to make up for the difference.

It’s too early to say what this policy change will mean for many individuals, but it should put many taxpayers on notice that the IRS is on high alert. As today’s economic crisis drags on and revenues fall, the federal government may need to step up its efforts to collect taxes.

Perhaps now more than ever it is important for people who are facing tax problems to seek out help from attorneys with experience in tax and auditing defense.