For years, IRS audit rates have been declining as Congress has cut the IRS budget and its workforce has shrunk. The agency has reported the sixth consecutive year that audit rates have gone down.  Low IRS audit rates are bad news for law-abiding taxpayers. The IRS estimates that the “tax gap”—the difference between taxes owed and taxes paid on time—is a whopping $458 billion. We all have to pay higher taxes because so much goes uncollected.