Where in The U.S. Are You Most Likely to Be Audited by the IRS?

The five counties with the highest audit rates are all predominantly African American, rural counties in the Deep South.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Paul Kiel
ProPublica
April 1, 2019
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Tags: IRS Audits

Organizations mentioned/involved: North Mississippi Rural Legal Services (NMRLS)


DETAILS

In counties with the highest audit rates, there were about 11 audits per 1,000 tax returns filed each year, he found, which is more than 40 percent above the national average.

The map reveals wide variations in the audit rate from place to place, but also how certain groups of Americans are disproportionately affected by the IRS’ policies. The five counties with the highest audit rates are all predominantly African American, rural counties in the Deep South. The audit rate is also very high in South Texas’ largely Hispanic counties and in counties with Native American reservations, such as in South Dakota. Primarily poor, white counties, such as those in eastern Kentucky in Appalachia, also have elevated audit rates.

The states with the lowest audit rates tend to be home to middle income, largely white populations: places like New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Generally, the IRS audits taxpayers with household income between $50,000 and $100,000 the least.