The answer is … probably not.
The IRS has a decreased budget overall, plus they have lessened the amount of dollars allocated within their budget for tax auditors. Does that mean you can cheat? Nope. If you do happen to win the Uncle Sam lotto and get audited next year or up to 6 years from now, you could still get caught if you fudge this year’s taxes. Remember, an audit would go back three to six years and scrutinize your records for each year looking for any suspicious activity, so it’s best to take the high road.
In addition, there is an IRS computer auditor (picture Robot from “Lost in Space”) that is conducting its own assessment of taxpayer honesty and accuracy. If your employer reports more income than you report to the IRS, Robot will flail his arms with a “Danger, Danger, Taxpayer” message directly to you that could very well come with consequences. The same goes for any other discrepancies between a reported investment income and what you report. If your tax return is inaccurate or you are caught cheating in or outside of an audit, the fines can be quite ugly.
Even though the trend has been to decrease the IRS budget, it’s possible that could change in future years and the budget will increase again. One of the major reasons for fewer audit resources is due to the IRS needing to set up shop to enforce the new Obamacare penalties. A percentage of the money and staff that were previously allocated to battling tax fraud will now be collecting penalty fines based on how many months of the year that a taxpayer has health insurance and their exemption status.
Who remains in the top percentage of those audited? Those who make more than $1 million, have their own business and/or are self- employed. Those employed by a company or government are inherently less suspicious.
The bottom line is to keep your taxes as accurate as possible without paying more than what you owe. Try shifting any negative thinking about paying taxes to a more positive perspective. Some tax money actually does benefit you such as that spent on education, public safety, disaster relief, road improvements and other benefits that may have been an incredible help to you, your family and others you care about.
Here’s a strategy. Shift any paralyzed, deep seated anger toward the government into a stronger, more logical, neutral, “need for action” thought as it pertains to the big picture. Think about the $5,000 hammer joke as it pertains to outrageous government expenses. How about the ongoing $1 Million per year going towards a food menu for an unscheduled planet Mars trip? Now, use your more logical and action oriented feelings to actually take action without the negative emotions that can degrade your health. You could start a video campaign calling for the halt of the Mars Menu project until it makes sense … like when a trip to Mars is actually scheduled. Maybe demand a maximum budget of 10K with the use of enthusiastic student volunteers. Get creative. A positive, healthy, action-oriented outlook is always good for having an impact and for your number one priority, your health.
The tax system is what it is today. But it can change with the right momentum. Call your politicians and challenge them to fight for what you know makes sense. Or be even more ambitious and educate yourself and strategize for creating positive revolutionary waves, eliminating frivolous spending, and breaking through political agendas. Or maybe just take a nap 😉