Is the IRS hiding important collections data?

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Once again, the most recent release of IRS collections data shows that the top 1% of taxpayers pay far more than their share, based on their share of income earned. In fact, the top 1% pay roughly double their share of tax, based on their share of income. But as in past years, the IRS is not too anxious to publicize that information.

The latest data was quietly posted, in the form of a spreadsheet, in a subdirectory on the IRS website, containing thousands of other spreadsheets. Yet, to date, we have been unable to find any link on the IRS website, to that file. It exists, but the only way to access it is to either know where it is or use a search tool, like we do, to find the file.

The latest data is supposed to be listed on the IRS website, on a page titled, SOI Tax Stats – Individual Statistical Tables by Tax Rate and Income Percentile. Visit that page and near the bottom of the page will be a section titled “All Individual Income Tax Returns Excluding Dependents Classified by Tax Percentile—Early Release”. Under that section, you will see two files listed. As this is being written, both of those files are are for the tax years 2001-2013 and were created on October 15 of 2015.

But the most recent versions of those two files are for the tax years 2001-2014 (one year later) and the data was quietly posted to the aforementioned IRS website subdirectory on October 21, 2016. For the record, we updated our IRS Collections Data page the next day.

That was more than four months ago. But as of this writing, there has been no announcement of the availability of that new data and we have been unable to find any link on the IRS website, to either of those important files.

This leads to the question, “Is the IRS intentionally trying to keep this information from becoming public?” Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that hiding this data is intentional, on the part of the IRS. After all, we are talking about the IRS. It could just be that they really are that incompetent.

For the record, you can find the new files here:

http://www.irs.gov/file_source/pub/irs-soi/14in01etr.xls
http://www.irs.gov/file_source/pub/irs-soi/14in02etr.xls

Download them. Look at the tax years covered. Look at the creation dates. Then look at the SOI (Statistics of Income) page on the IRS website and see what tax years are covered in the section, “All Individual Income Tax Returns Excluding Dependents Classified by Tax Percentile—Early Release” and look at the creation dates. Then you be the judge.

Is the IRS really trying to hide the new collections data or are they really that incompetent?

Regardless of what you decide, the most important point to note, is that these IRS spreadsheets show conclusively that the top 1% of income earners pay roughly double their share of taxes, based on their share of income earned. For more on this, see our IRS Collections Data page.

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