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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

It’s April Madness at the IRS


Internal Revenue Commissioner John Koskinen on Wednesday gave a National Press Club talk on the “April Madness” that is tax filing season for his employees processing form 1040s from the nation’s 152 million filers. Below are some of his eye-opening numbers:

$74 million. Amount in refunds issued so far out of 93 million 2017 returns received (average amount: $2,900)

87 percent. Share of taxpayers who file electronically

3 million. Number of 1040 forms completed by hand

500 million. Visits to IRS.gov in 2016

6 million. Visits to IRS.gov in one recent day

40 million. Number of times the IRS2Go smartphone app has been downloaded

63 million. Number of calls to IRS call centers last year

8 million. Number of letters received IRS received last year

1 million. Number of malicious cyberattacks on IRS daily

46 percent. Reduction in identify theft victims reported in 2016 compared with 2015

$6.5 billion. Amount in fraudulent refund claims on 1 million returns the IRS prevented last year

$290 million. Extra appropriations funding in 2016, which allowed IRS to hire 1,000 temps

$239 million. Amount President Trump in March proposed cutting from IRS

17,000. Number of employees IRS has lost since 2010, mostly due to budget cuts

50. Number of employees who leave IRS every week for varying reasons

1 million. Number of taxpayers audited last year, the lowest number in a decade

$30 billion. Revenue lost for each percentage point drop in taxpayer compliance rate

60 percent. Portion of IRS hardware that is out of date

28 percent. Portion of software considered obsolete

122. Number of IRS employees 25 or younger

Charles S. Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books, and organizational media strategies.

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