Another thing that makes people more likely to be audited: being rich. Those with income of at least $1 million are 11 times as likely to be audited as the average taxpayer; those with incomes of $200,000 or more are 4 times as likely. Of the 1,000 biggest U.S. companies, more than half are being audited at any given time, says Mary B. Hevener, a partner at Morgan, Lewis and Bockius in Washington. The I.R.S. is drawn to giant corporations “for the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks,” Hevener notes. “It’s where the money is.”
Who is the greatest accountant of all time?
Many consider Luca Pacioli, a 15th-century Italian bookkeeper who hung out with Leonardo, as their standard-bearer. In his 1494 opus, “Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita,” Pacioli described the system that Venetian merchants had begun to keep track of their far-flung businesses. That system, with some tweaks, is still in use today. “He’s the father of double-entry accounting,” Yeutter says, “the exciting world that we have.”