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IRS contacting high-income earners who failed to file taxes

The IRS said it was able to track down 125,000 instances of people earning over $400,000 not filing their taxes between 2017 and 2021.
IRS contacting high-income earners who failed to file taxes
Posted at 8:09 AM, Mar 01, 2024

The Internal Revenue Service said it is stepping up enforcement of high-income non-tax filers in the coming weeks. 

According to the IRS, the agency will send out notices to 25,000 Americans believed to have earned over $1 million who missed a tax return between 2017 and 2021, while an additional 100,000 notices will be sent to those making incomes between $400,000 and $1 million. 

Of the 125,000 letters that are being sent, some are receiving multiple notices for missing multiple years. The letter will include a CP59 notice, explaining the process to rectify their tax situation. 

The IRS said it could ascertain income levels based on documents reported to the agency, including W2 and 1099 forms. 

The stepped-up enforcement is in response to the 2022 passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which helped bolster the agency's staffing levels. The bill, which provided $80 billion for the IRS to strengthen its staffing, was universally opposed by congressional Republicans. 

Republicans have decried the legislation, especially the additional funding for the IRS. Many Republicans have accused the Biden administration of using the IRS to increase audits on middle-income taxpayers — a claim the Biden administration has pushed back on. 

SEE MORE: Those confusing IRS notices may soon make sense to taxpayers like you

Before the bump in funding, the IRS said it struggled to keep up with compliance letters and ensure high-income earners were paying their taxes. 

“At this time of year when millions of hard-working people are doing the right thing paying their taxes, we cannot tolerate those with higher incomes failing to do a basic civic duty of filing a tax return,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “The IRS is taking this step to address this most basic form of non-compliance, which includes many who are engaged in tax evasion. This is one of the clearest examples of the need to have a properly funded IRS. With the Inflation Reduction Act resources, the agency finally has the funding to identify non-filers, ensure they meet this core civic responsibility, and ultimately help ensure fairness for everyone who plays by the rules.”

The IRS said that those who missed filing their taxes should rectify their tax situation as soon as possible as penalties and interest compound.

The IRS said that among those receiving letters, it conservatively estimates there are hundreds of millions of unpaid taxes.

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