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IRS Failed to Collect $2.4 Billion in Taxes From Millionaires

  • Agency must aggressively pursue rich tax cheats, watchdog says
  • IRS said systems adequately prioritize cases involving wealthy
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig

Photographer: Susan Walsh/AP/Bloomberg

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The Internal Revenue Service has failed to collect more than $2.4 billion dollars from wealthy individuals who owe the federal government back taxes, according to a Treasury Department watchdog report.

Auditors were only able to recoup about 39% of the more than $4 billion in unpaid taxes owed by a group of rich taxpayers with an average annual income of nearly $1.6 million, the report found. The findings suggest that the IRS should place more emphasis on a taxpayer’s income when determining whether to pursue an audit case, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said in the report released Monday.