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Mnuchin Wants IRS to Audit More Wealthy Households (Corrected)

Dec. 5, 2019, 8:00 PMUpdated: Dec. 6, 2019, 5:42 PM

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants the IRS to audit more high-income households, he told a House committee.

“I called up the commissioner and said he should be doing more of these audits, not less,” Mnuchin said in response to questioning from Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) at a Dec. 5 Financial Services Committee hearing.

“By the way, if you want to give us more money for enforcement I’m happy to take it,” he added.

But he also questioned reports that the agency audits poorer households at a much higher rate.

“That’s actually not the case, and I’m working with the IRS to release the data” showing otherwise, Mnuchin said. “The way we report this data is on closed audits, and these audits obviously take a long time.”

The IRS’s methodology for measuring audits across income thresholds is flawed, he said. He wants the IRS to shift toward reporting annual data on the percentage of taxpayers in each income bracket under an open audit.

(Corrects name of lawmaker in second paragraph of Dec. 5 story. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Colin Wilhelm in Washington at cwilhelm@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Ambrosio at pambrosio@bloombergtax.com; Kathy Larsen at klarsen@bloombergtax.com