77 K. St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
Institutional Affiliation: Internal Revenue Service
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2018||The Effects of EITC Correspondence Audits on Low-Income Earners|
with John Guyton, Kara Leibel, Dayanand S. Manoli, Ankur Patel, Brenda Schafer: w24465
Each year, the United States Internal Revenue Service identifies taxpayers who may have erroneously claimed Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) benefits and audits them through a mail correspondence process to verify their claims. This paper exploits the random variation arising from certain aspects of the audit selection process to estimate the impacts of these EITC correspondence audits on taxpayer behaviors. In the years after being audited, taxpayers are less likely to claim EITC benefits, and most of the reduction appears to be in EITC claims that may have been flagged for potential EITC noncompliance. Additionally, qualifying children on audited returns are more likely to be claimed by other taxpayers after the audits. These spillovers indicate that net overpayments may be less than gros...