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New IRS Tax Gap Estimates Jump to $496 Billion, Agency Says (1)

Oct. 28, 2022, 5:46 PMUpdated: Oct. 28, 2022, 6:22 PM

The US tax gap—the difference between taxes paid and taxes owed—grew to $496 billion, the IRS announced Friday.

The IRS estimates the the gap at that level, not including late payments, for tax years 2014 to 2016—an increase from $441 billion for years 2011 to 2013, the agency said in a release. The agency periodically audits a random sample of returns every few years to measure tax liability. Democrats have pointed to the tax gap as evidence of the agency’s inability to catch tax cheats, whereas Republicans are skeptical of what is included in the estimates calculation.

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