Watchdog: Auditing the rich could earn the IRS $4,545 per hour

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Watchdog Agency Says IRS Doesn't Audit The Superrich Enough

Who qualifies as "high income" in the U.S. might be changing after an audit found the IRS isn't focusing enough resources on the super rich.

The report from a Treasury Department agency dedicated to IRS oversight shows every audit hour of people making $5 million or more nets the government $4,545. Every hour dedicated to someone making in the $200,000-$400,000 range? Just $605 an hour.

SEE MORE: 10 tax form terms you could be confusing

That in itself isn't terribly surprising. More income means more possible money missed. And the report's own intro even says high-income taxpayers are more likely to be involved in complex financial arrangements with "aggressive tax planning."

But here's the thing. Audits are at their lowest rate in a decade and have been declining steadily for the last four years straight. And guess which tax brackets saw the biggest drop-off in audits — the top three.

The report also seemed to indicate a somewhat arbitrary system, stating, "It is not clear that the IRS audits the most productive high-income taxpayer cases or that it has a clear rationale for the inventory balance it has established among taxpayers at different (income) levels."

Ultimately, the report recommended several changes, including that the IRS consider changing income thresholds and what the agency considers "high income."

See each 2016 candidate's views on taxes:

11 PHOTOS
2016 issues: Taxes
See Gallery
Watchdog: Auditing the rich could earn the IRS $4,545 per hour
DORAL, FL - DECEMBER 10: Glenn Rehn (C) and Sandy Lleo (R) along with other protesters rally together outside the office of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on December 10, 2012 in Doral, Florida. The protesters are hoping that Senators like Rubio will not cut medicare/social security benefits and will agree to raise taxes on the top 2% of earners in the country. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., accompanied by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., speaks about estate tax reform, Thursday, June 25, 2015, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, details his tax reform plan in a speech at Morris & Associates in Garner, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Seth Hahn shouts in a megaphone as he leads a large group of fellow union members as they march to the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J., Thursday, June 12, 2014. Hundreds of union members marched to protest Gov. Chris Christie's proposed cuts to mandated state pension contributions. Some said to pay the pension contributions, the state should cut business incentive programs that Gov. Chris Christie's administration has been using heavily. Since December, the state has pledged just over $1 billion in tax credits to companies to move or remain in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
DORAL, FL - DECEMBER 10: Manuel Lloyd along with other protesters rally together outside the office of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on December 10, 2012 in Doral, Florida. The protesters are hoping that Senators like Rubio will not cut medicare/social security benefits and will agree to raise taxes on the top 2% of earners in the country. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
In this photo taken Sept. 2, 2015, Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. speaks in Oklahoma City. Jeb Bush went to Detroit and talked about leveling the playing field. Marco Rubio wrote a book about helping the working class. Rand Paul wants to expand the Republican Party beyond its traditional base. Yet all three presidential candidates have released tax proposals that would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest. Democrats say it's proof that the GOP's eventual nominee will mainly try to help the rich. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2015 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in Ankeny, Iowa. The last major piece of President Barack Obama’s health care law could raise costs for thrifty consumers as well as large corporations and union members. Some Republicans in Congress are calling for repealing the tax. Clinton says she’s concerned it will shift more costs to workers. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks in Bowling Green, Ky. Jeb Bush went to Detroit and talked about leveling the playing field. Marco Rubio wrote a book about helping the working class. Rand Paul wants to expand the Republican Party beyond its traditional base. Yet all three presidential candidates have released tax proposals that would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest. Democrats say it's proof that the GOP's eventual nominee will mainly try to help the rich. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 06: Protestors call for an increase of taxes on the wealthy and voice opposition to cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid during a demonstration in the Federal Building Plaza on December 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. About 300 protestors participated in the demonstration which resulted in three arrests. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A few hundred teachers and education advocates protest at the Kansas Statehouse against Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. They don't believe the state's schools are adequately funded and object to new laws that will end guaranteed tenure for public school teachers and give tax credits to corporations that bankroll private-school scholarships. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
TRENTON, NJ - FEBRUARY 24: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his budget address for fiscal year 2016 to the Legislature, February 24, 2015 at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie proposed a budget of $33.8 billion, that did not include new taxes or an increse in school spending. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

More from AOL.com:
E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle expands to 6 states
The most resilient housing markets in America
Dorsey's Square jumps in market debut, offering hope to startups

Read Full Story

People are Reading