IRS Commissioner John Koskinen predicted Thursday that 2016 will see the fewest number of IRS audits in 12 years.
He warned that budget cuts will lead to the shrinking number of audits and create risk in the nation’s voluntary system of tax compliance by potentially letting violators fall through the cracks.
IRS spending is $900 million less than Congress approved for 2010, and that has led to a staff reduction of 17,000.
“If people think that many other people are not paying their fair share, or that they’re not going to get caught if they cheat, or they’re just frustrated because they can’t get the help they need from us to file their taxes, our tax system will be put at risk,” Koskinen said.
Because of the aging of the baby boomer generation, he said 40 percent of the IRS workforce will be able to retire by 2019.
At the same time, only 200 of the agency’s 85,000 employees are under 25.
Koskinen’s remarks came at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C.
Among the obligatory jokes, his best were that 12 percent of taxpayers polled like Vladimir Putin more than the IRS.
His staff handed out envelopes with change inside to all luncheon-goers to demonstrate it costs the IRS 35 cents to collect $100 in revenue.