Economists find that every extra dollar spent on auditing the top 10% of taxpayers yields $12 in revenue.
However, audit rates have been plummeting over the past decade as the IRS remains underfunded.
It turns out that scrutinizing the rich's taxes pays off.
They find that while it's much more expensive to audit the wealthiest tax payers, it's still a hearty return on investment.
Auditing the top 1% yields $4.25 per dollar spent, and that number soars to $6.29 when auditing the top 0.1%.
The findings illustrate how much money might be sitting untapped in what the IRS calls the tax gap — the chasm between taxes owed and taxes paid.
The Treasury Department has previously estimated that the top 1% evade $163 billion in taxes annually. »