With the approval of
Congress and the Clinton Administration, the IRS currently has
about a third fewer permanent employees than it did in 1988. But
individual and business income tax return filings are up. At the
same time, the agency has been devoting an increasing share of
its shrinking resources to taxpayer services like providing information
to confused taxpayers. The natural result of these varioius trends:
less enforcement. Computer matching is down. Audits are down.
Collection activities such as levies and seizures are down. Also
substantially off are criminal indictments and civil filings against
non-complying taxpayers. Reporter Jonathan Weisman, building on
the wealth of enforcement and staffing information available on
TRAC's IRS web site, conducted numerous interviews and put together
an extensive and carefully documented USA Today "Cover story"
about this important subject.