Worried about being audited by the IRS this year? You shouldn’t be. According to new statistics published by both Market Insider and the Wall Street Journal, you are 50 percent less likely to get hassled by Uncle Sam about accurate taxes than you were exactly ten years ago. Basically, if you wanted to be a little sloppy on your taxes, the chances that you’re going to get bothered about it are almost non-existent.
This week, the Wall Street Journal released the findings which indicate that Republican-led budget cuts have left the Internal Revenue Service short-staffed, which means the enforcement end of the IRS simply doesn’t have the energy to double-check your receipts. If you try to write-off some stuff that wasn’t exactly a work expense, you might get away with it.
Again, we can’t endorse this — keeping financial secrets from anyone is bad — but it is something people might want to know. In real life, the gangster Al Capone (Nickname “Scarface”) went to prison for tax evasion. But, the Al Pacino “Scarface” (who is not real) did not go to prison for tax evasion. We’re not saying you should be like Pacino Scarface or Al Capone, but the chances that a small alteration to your taxes will result in huge IRS headaches is pretty low.
At least, statistically. As the Wall Street Journal points out, this report doesn’t break down taxpayers by income bracket, but you can bet the bigger income brackets got audited harder than the smaller ones; there’s just more money involved that way.
So, to put it another way; don’t cheat on your taxes. But, also, this year, don’t stress about your taxes. The IRS doesn’t have the time — or resources — to bug you about it.