No one likes paying taxes, but there’s some comfort knowing everyone pays their fair share, right?
Think again. After years of increased enforcement efforts at the Internal Revenue Service, tax cheating is still rampant, costing the federal government an estimated $350 billion or more each year in missing or late taxes. That’s more than the government collects annually from the corporate tax, and 16 percent of the government’s total revenue.
What’s worse, the IRS’s vaunted search-and-destroy reputation for cracking down on tax fraud – built up over the past decade — is being threatened by Republicans’ efforts to cut the agency’s budget. “We’ve been in an era of increased funding and enforcement activity, but that could be coming to an end shortly,” says Mark Luscombe, a tax analyst at CCH, a unit of Wolters Kluwer in Riverwoods, Ill.