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The overall individual audit coverage rate continued its steady decline in recent years, the IRS reported. The audit coverage rate for total individual returns for fiscal year (FY) 2015 was 0.84 percent, compared to 0.86 percent in FY 2014 and 0.96 percent in FY 2013. In contrast, the audit coverage rate for all types of businesses increased slightly, from 0.57 percent in FY 2014 to 0.60 percent in FY 2015. The Service also reported in February that examination revenue fell as did the number of employees engaged in collection and enforcement work.

Individual Returns

While the audit coverage rate for all individuals fell in FY 2015, the audit coverage rate for returns reflecting income of $1 million and higher increased from 7.50 percent in FY 2014 to 9.55 percent in FY 2015. In comparison, the audit coverage rate for returns showing incomes of $200,000 and higher fell from 2.71 percent in FY 2014 to 2.61 percent in FY 2015. The audit coverage rate for returns reflecting incomes of less than $200,000 dropped the least, from 0.78 percent in FY 2014 to 0.76 percent in FY 2015. As in past years, the number of correspondence exams far exceeded field exam, although the number of correspondence exams fell below one million for the second consecutive year.

Business Returns

S corporations and partnerships saw increased audit coverage rates in FY 2015. The audit coverage rate for S corporation returns rose from 0.36 percent in FY 2014 to 0.40 percent in FY 2015. The audit coverage rate for partnership returns showed stronger growth, from 0.43 percent in FY 2014 to 0.51 percent in FY 2015. However, the audit coverage rate for small corporation returns (assets under $10 million) fell from 0.95 percent in FY 2014 to 0.92 percent in FY 2015. Large corporation returns also experienced a drop in audit coverage, from 12.23 percent in FY 2014 to 11.15 percent in FY 2015.

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