IRS estimate: 17 percent of taxes owed went unpaid


    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service is estimating that people and businesses underpaid their taxes by $450 billion in the most recent year studied.

    That means they failed to send in 17 percent of the taxes they actually owed.

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    The data is for 2006, the most recent tax year for which data is available. The IRS estimates it was owed nearly $2.7 trillion in taxes that year.

    After IRS audits and other enforcement efforts, non-compliance shrank to 14 percent, leaving the final amount of unpaid taxes at $385 billion.

    That’s bigger than the budget deficit that year, which was $248 billion.

    The portion of unpaid taxes in 2006 was similar to 2001, the last year the IRS had examined.

    (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)