IRS Statistics Exposed in the Latest Data Tables

Each fiscal year, the IRS issues their data book on the federal tax returns filed during the previous calendar year. The filing season statistics reveal the type of returns that arrive at their office and how they handle them behind the scenes.

Check out these interesting IRS statistcs on tax returns |

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The figures include tax returns filed in Calendar Year 2017.

Depending on the statistic cited below, it may encompass C-Corp, S-Corp, Partnership, Individual, Individual Estimated Income Tax, Estate and Trust, Employment Taxes, Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Excise tax, Tax-Exempt Organization, and supplemental documents. (Source: 2018 IRS Service Data Book Page 6).

Top 4 states with the most filed federal tax returns

  1. California — 30.3 million federal tax returns
  2. Texas — 19.8 million federal tax returns
  3. Florida — 17.8 million federal tax returns
  4. New York — 16.2 million federal tax returns
Source: Internal Revenue Service Data Book, 2018, Table 3

Top 3 states with the highest number of refunds issued

  1. California —  13.9 million federal refunds
  2. Texas —  10.3 million federal refunds
  3. Florida —  8.1 million federal refunds

Most audited tax returns by type

  1. Individual tax returns — 5.8 million audited returns
  2. Employment tax return — 43,035 audited returns
  3. Excise tax return — 12,908 audited returns
  4. S-Corp tax return - 10,575 audited returns
Source: 2018 IRS Service Data Book Table 9a

Based on examinations where the taxpayer agrees to the additional tax proposed.

READ MORE: 3 Ways to Avoid An IRS Audit

Top 5 audit-prone income brackets for individuals, based on AGI

  1. $10 million or more
  2. $5 million to $10 million
  3. $1 million to $5 million
  4. $500,000 to $1 million
  5. $0 income
Source: 2018 IRS Data Book Table 9b

Based on examinations where the taxpayer agrees to the additional tax proposed.

TIP: The IRS received the fewest amount of tax returns in these brackets, yet they seem to be the most susceptible to an audit leading to additional tax owed.

READ MORE: Can Someone Really Pay Zero Tax?

Most common math errors on individual tax returns by type

  1. Tax calculation/other taxes — 38.9%
  2. Exemption number — 19.5%
  3. Standard/Itemized deduction — 8.3%
  4. Earned Income Credit — 7.1%
  5. Child Tax Credit — 6%
SOURCE: 2018 IRS Data Book Table 15

Lowest number of penalty abatements by type (rounded to the nearest percentage)

  1. Individual, estate, and trusts — 9% penalties abatement approved
  2. S-Corp — 10%
  3. Employment taxes — 13%
  4. Nonreturn penalties — 14%
  5. Excise taxes — 20%
  6. Corporation —  30%
  7. Estate and gift taxes — 51%
  8. Partnership — 65% penalties abatement approved
SOURCE: 2018 IRS Data Book Table 17

The IRS lost approximately $12 billion by abating penalties.

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