by Donna on November 22, 2022 7:51 am
"Like other non-billionaire Americans, I take ultimate responsibility for the taxes that I pay. I don't need to be told to not break the law." - Curt
Me neither. And I never cheat on my taxes. To hear some Republicans talk though, I guess I'm a chump. I can only interpret what they said (below) as meaning that they believe it's wrong for the government to increase funding to catch tax cheaters.
Fact-Checking the Misleading Claim About 87,000 Tax Agents
The assertion began to circulate when President Biden first outlined a wide-ranging social spending plan last fall. A whittled-down version of that plan, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, was enacted this summer, fueling a new wave of attacks that have gained momentum as the elections neared.
That law provides the Internal Revenue Service with nearly $80 billion in funding, including $45.6 billion for enforcement activities. But the suggestion that this would amount to 87,000 additional tax collectors scrutinizing the financial filings of middle-class Americans is wrong.
WHAT WAS SAID
“When House Republicans earn the majority, we will STOP Biden’s army of 87,000 IRS agents hired to audit hardworking American families and small businesses.” — Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, in a tweet in November.
“Senate Democrats could have secured the border to protect you and your family. They didn’t. Instead, they hired 87,000 IRS agents to audit you.”
— Senate Republicans’ official Twitter account in November.
“$80 Billion: Increased IRS Funding. 87,000: Full-Time IRS Agents Added Using $80 Billion in Funding. 710,000 New Audits on Taxpayers Making $75,000 or Less.” — a graphic Tiffany Smiley, the Republican candidate for Senate in Washington, shared on Twitter in October.
These claims are misleading. The 87,000 figure refers to a May 2021 estimate from the Treasury Department of the total number of employees — not just auditors — the I.R.S. proposes to hire over the next 10 years with funding requested by Mr. Biden. And while the I.R.S. plans to conduct more audits, wealthy Americans and businesses will bear the brunt of that scrutiny, not, as Republicans have suggested, working families.
Among the I.R.S.’s work force of about 79,000 employees, 10,000 are actually agents. (Of those, 8,000 are revenue agents who audit tax filings and 2,000 are special agents who investigate potential tax crimes.) In fact, the two most common I.R.S. jobs have little to do with tax auditing or investigations: about 13,000 are customer service representatives who answer taxpayer phone calls and 10,000 are seasonal employees who file mail or transcribe data. Other jobs include lawyers, examiners, technicians and appeals officers.