IRS Releases FY 2016 Data Book Showing Range of Tax Data, Including Service and Enforcement Changes

IRS Press Release:

IR-2017-69, March 30, 2017

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today released the 2016 IRS Data Book, a snapshot of agency activities for the fiscal year.

The 2016 IRS Data Book describes activities conducted by the IRS from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016, and includes information about returns filed, taxes collected, enforcement, taxpayer assistance, the IRS budget and workforce as well as other data. This edition contains charts that show trends such as increases in telephone service and declines in enforcement activities when compared to 2015.

IRS Increased Toll-free Telephone and Online Assistance to Taxpayers
During Fiscal Year 2016, the IRS helped more than 68 million taxpayers over the telephone through live assistance and automated services. Taxpayers used the IRS web site in greater numbers; there were more than one-half billion unique visits to during FY 2016. The most popular feature on, Where’s My Refund, was used almost 300 million times during FY 2016, up more than 27 percent compared to the prior year.

  FY 2015 FY 2016 Percent Change
Total number of visits




Where’s My Refund




IRS2Go active users




Telephone assistance and Walk in Assistance




Total telephone assistance




Automated telephone assistance




Live telephone assistance




Enforcement Actions Decline in 2016
During Fiscal Year 2016, the IRS collected more than $3.3 trillion, processed more than 244 million tax returns and other forms, and issued more than $426 billion in tax refunds. There were fewer enforcement actions taken during FY 2016. The IRS audited just over 1 million tax returns of individuals in FY 2016, down almost 16 percent from the prior year’s total of 1.2 million. The coverage of individuals audited fell to 0.70 percent, the lowest coverage rate in more than a decade.

Several collection activities fell in FY 2016. IRS levies were down 40 percent compared to the prior year, and the agency filed almost 9 percent fewer liens than in the prior year.

The IRS Data Book’s online format makes navigating data on taxpayer assistance, enforcement and IRS operations easier. The publication contains depictions of key areas and quick links to the underlying data. This year’s edition marks 100 years since the Revenue Act of 1916 became law. 

An electronic version of the 2016 IRS Data Book can be found on the Tax Stats page of Printed copies of the 2016 IRS Data Book, Publication 55B, will be available May 2017 from the U.S. Government Printing Office. To obtain a copy, write to the Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954, or call (202) 512-1800 for voicemail, or fax a request to (202) 512-2250.


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