By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – Now this is a great headline – you are not going to be audited.

There are of course exceptions, but the bottom line is the taxman is broke, not enough money around to enforce the rules like he used to. And unless you’re doing something egregious, you’re not likely to hear from him.

You can thank Congress which is giving the IRS less money. The agency’s budget has fallen from more than $12 billion to a little more than $11 billion the past four years.

And sure enough, fewer people have been getting that dreaded letter. Only 0.9-percent of people making less than $200,000 were audited last year. That’s the lowest since the IRS began publishing these statistics.

That’s the good news.

But there is also a downside to this.

Some people are not getting help when they need it. It’s an equal opportunity problem – fewer workers to audit people and fewer workers assist them as well.

Last year only 61-percent of taxpayers calling the IRS for help actually got it. Many of them are being pointed to the IRS web site.

You might be able to accept lower service if it means not getting audited. But if the IRS got more money – and President Obama is requesting an increase for next year – it would also mean a smaller federal deficit.

The president’s budget proposal in fact says the IRS would collect an additional $6 for every $1 increase in the enforcement budget.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz



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