Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The Bush Administration is Consistent
"The rate at which the Internal Revenue Service audits big corporations continued to drop, hitting a 20-year low in 2007, a new study shows. Researchers at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, affiliated with Syracuse Univeristy, examined IRS data and found that 26% of corporations with $250 million or more in assets were audited in 2007. That was down from 34% a year earlier and 43% in 2005. During the 1990s, such rates typically hovered around 50%. ... The IRS argues that the number of audits of any particular class of companies isn't as signficant as the bottom line: what it collects in extra tax revenue stemming from such audits. Using a somewhat different classification system, the IRS says it brought in $14.2 billion in enforcement revenue in 2007 from companies with more than $10 million in assets, up 34% from the prior year. ... Barry Shott, an IRS deputy commissioner ... said that a decline in the number of audits of the very largest corporations--typically multinationals--was explained in large part by a relatively new program in which the IRS works closely with such companies before they file their returns", my emphasis, WSJ, 14 April 2008.
There is so much here. I could not accuse Bush Adminstration (BA) personnel of having little minds, see my 29 October 2007 post. The IRS says focus on the amount of money it collects to assess its enforcement efforts: Chris Cox's SEC says look at the number of actions brought, see my 12 April 2008 post. The BA is consistent: in favoring big business interests. The IRS program which "works closely with [big] companies before they file their returns" looks like its version of the DOJ's "deferred prosecutions". See my 15 April 2008 post on this.