IRS Releases Schedule UTP Statistics for 2011

The IRS recently released Schedule UTP filing statistics for the 2011 tax year. The statistics are not complete as returns from some late fiscal year filers and others still have not been processed.

As of December 2012, the IRS was able to report the following:

  • 1,783 taxpayers filed Schedule UTP with their 2011 returns
  • 83% of all returns with Schedule UTP were filed by taxpayers classified as Industry Case (IC) taxpayers by the Large Business & International (LB&I) Division of the IRS.
  • 4,120 uncertain tax positions had been disclosed
  • Coordinated Industry Case (CIC) taxpayers disclosed an average of 3.8 uncertain tax  positions per Schedule
  • IC taxpayers averaged 2.0 uncertain tax positions per Schedule
  • 47% of Schedule UTP returns included only one uncertain tax position

2011 also was the first tax year that prior year positions were required to be reported on the Schedule.  The IRS has not yet gathered the data to share any statistics to break out the total number of positions reported in the current year and prior years.

No information was released regarding the most frequently reported code sections underlying the uncertain tax positions.  

Read more about Schedule UTP here.

New York Raises Rates on Highest Earners

The New York State Legislature, following the lead of Governor Andrew Coumo, may have toppled the domino in the trend to tax higher income earners at higher rates. The two agreed to a measure to increase state income tax rates to 8.82% on those reporting more than $2 million of annual income. Read the New York Times coverage here.

High net worth individuals have been under increased scrutiny by the IRS since the rebranding and reorganization of the Large & Mid Sized Business examination division over a year ago into Large Business & International. Notably the new LB&I organization increased the IRS’s emphasis on the activities of high net worth taxpayers here and abroad. (See the “Wealth Squad” IDR we shared here a few months ago).

Now the talk of increasing rates on America’s highest earners that started with Warren Buffett and William Gates, Sr has found another advocate in the governor and lawmakers of the great state of New York. Whether this is an effect of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a budget necessity or a true compromise as suggested by members of both political parties in the New York General Assembly, the result is higher taxes for the wealthiest New Yorkers and most likely and increased scrutiny of how much they pay.