A new report by the Taxpayer Advocate Service found that Americans are paying an extra $3,000 in taxes because of people who aren’t paying all they owe.
Bloomberg News reported on the findings showing that the surtax is largely due to the reduced funding for the IRS. As Congress cuts operational funds to the IRS, fewer agents are on hand to audit those who refuse to pay their taxes or come up with loopholes that seem suspicious.
That "has reduced the amount the IRS has been able to collect from taxpayers voluntarily or through enforcement," the report revealed.
Wealthy taxpayers who can afford powerful lawyers to fight back against the IRS costs the department more time and greater effort when they're already short-staffed. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration criticized the IRS for letting the rich and corporations slide simply because it's more work. The payoffs, however, would be much higher.
"The IRS recently estimated the tax gap – the difference between what the federal government is owed and actually collects – averaged about $381 billion in unpaid tax from 2011-2013. That equates to roughly 14.2% of taxes never being submitted to the agency," Bloomberg News explained.
That cost adds up to the $3,000 "tax" that Americans are forced to cover.
This report goes off of 2012-2013 taxes because it is far enough out to observe specifics about IRS audits. In the years since 2013, Republicans in Congress have continued to slash funding to the IRS.