How Many Trillions Did the IRS Collect in FY 2015?

The amount of tax money being collected by the IRS continues to grow according to the latest data provided by the agency.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released its data book for fiscal year 2015.

The agency notes that it collected more than $3.3 trillion in gross taxes in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 and issued more than 119.0 million refunds amounting to about $403.3 billion. Individual income tax withheld and tax payments, combined, totaled almost $1.8 trillion before refunds. The agency also collected almost $389.9 billion in income taxes, before refunds, from businesses in FY 2015.

For comparison, in FY 2010, the the agency collected about $2.3 trillion in gross taxes and about $278 billion in taxes, before refunds, from corporations.

The state paying the largest amount of total tax collections was California followed by Texas and New York. The states with the smallest total taxes paid were Vermont and Wyoming.

More returns are being filed electronically. Almost 163.5 million returns and other forms were filed electronically. Individual income tax returns were 78.2 percent of these returns.

The American tax system is a booming business for tax preparers who take on the task of filling out the tax returns, many of which are not intelligible to those paying the taxes. Paid preparers filed about 78.1 million tax returns electronically. About 3 million returns were filed using the IRS Free Filing program.

Also in FY 2015, about 16.3 million tax refunds included a refundable child tax credit and almost 24.1 million included a refundable earned income tax credit. An earned income tax credit is is a refundable tax credit for low to moderate-income working individuals and couples.

The agency also notes that its website is used a great deal with more than 493 million visits to in FY 2015.  “Where’s My Refund?” is one of the most popular tools with a record-breaking 234 million inquiries, a 24-percent increase over the prior year.

The IRS also highlights that it has had about a 15-percent reduction in full-time-equivalent staffing compared to 5 years ago so a number of  operations have been decreased, including the total number of individual tax return examinations, which decreased by 22 percent over the past five years.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47