AUGUSTA, Maine — Sen. Angus King is criticizing how the Internal Revenue Service conducts audits on some taxpayers in Maine.
King spoke out on Monday, saying that in 2017, the state's two most underprivileged counties were audited 10 percent more often than Sonoma County, Calif.
These Maine counties, Piscataquis and Washington, have a median income of less than $40,000 a year, while the median income in Sonoma County is $72,000 a year.
The focus of the IRS audits has been on low income taxpayers who receive earned income tax credit, but King says the focus should instead be on people and businesses who owe the most in unpaid federal taxes.
"Six percent of the estimated tax fraud comes out of this program, whereas as 50 percent comes out of business under-reporting of income," King told NEWS CENTER Maine. "They ought to go where the money is, and they shouldn't be heavily concentrating in places like Washington and Piscataquis county."
King is asking the Senate Appropriations Committee to boost funding for the IRS, which hasn't seen an increase in funding in eight years.
King says the agency needs more money to improve customer service and its enforcement of tax laws.