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Why Black taxpayers are more likely to get audited by the IRS, and how the U.S. tax code applies to all of us

Photo of a blank federal income tax return.

Black taxpayers are between three to five times more likely to be audited by the IRS than other taxpayers.

That’s according to the findings of a collaboration between Stanford University and the Department of the Treasury.

The researchers involved in the studysay it’s unlikely the disparity is intentional. Instead, it appears to be driven by internal IRS algorithms that are kept secret.

On Cincinnati Edition, we discuss the study and resources available to help local taxpayers file their returns.

Later in the program, we hear about the nation’s tax code and how it applies to large and small businesses and individuals at different income levels.

And, we talk about why simplifying U.S. tax laws is such a complicated conversation among federal lawmakers.


  • Hadi Elzayn, former postdoctoral fellow, Stanford University
  • Moira Weir, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Cincinnati
  • Matt Long, senior program manager, United Way of Greater Cincinnati
  • Adam Olson, assistant professor, Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati
  • Wiley Kyles, managing principal, W. Bernard Kyles & Co. Accountants & Management Consultants
  • Will Rice, policy consultant, Americans for Tax Fairness

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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