Posted 47 days ago
Republicans say a Democrat-backed bill worth $740 billion includes funding to hire 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents, which they say will target Americans.
The bill, known as the “Inflation Reduction Act,” was approved in a 51–50 vote as Vice President Kamala Harris served as a tie-breaker for Democrats. A provision includes the hiring of 87,000 agents, a move that was defended by Democrats, who said that the funding would target people who cheat on their taxes.
“Millions of Americans aren’t going to be impacted by that other than getting better service from the IRS having their telephone answer getting the questions they need in order to comply with our tax laws,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) told Fox News on Sunday. “The auditing is going to be focused on those of high income, the large corporations, etc.”
Meanwhile, Democrats have pointed to a May report from the Government Accountability Office showing that IRS audits have dropped over the past decade, including audits for the wealthy.
In a recent letter to Congress, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said that if an additional $80 billion is given to the agency via the legislation, it would not increase audits for households that earn less than $400,000 per year.
“These resources are absolutely not about increasing audit scrutiny on small businesses or middle-income Americans,” Retting wrote in the letter. “As we have been planning, our investment of these enforcement resources is designed around Treasury’s directive that audit rates will not rise relative to recent years for households making under $400,000.”
But Republicans warned that the IRS will target middle-class Americans with the tens of thousands of extra agents.
“Seriously, how out of touch do you have to be to brag about forcing a purely partisan bill through the Senate that raises taxes on the middle class, makes inflation worse, lowers after-tax income for Americans at every income level, decreases economic growth during a recession, and sends an army of IRS enforcers after grandma?” Republican National Committee spokesman Tommy Pigott asked, according to the Washington Examiner.... (Read more)