Monday was Tax Day — an annual date dreaded by most Americans as the deadline by which tax returns and payments or extensions must be filed with the Internal Revenue Service.
This year’s Tax Day was marked by a renewed call from President Joe Biden’s Treasury Department for a substantial increase in funding for the IRS to make it more powerful, Townhall reported.
That more powerful IRS would ostensibly only go after the extraordinarily wealthy individuals and corporations who allegedly don’t pay their “fair share” of the tax burden, but common sense and experience strongly suggest that average American workers, families, and small businesses would also face increased scrutiny and threat of punishment for potential tax code violations as well.
Biden wants to double budget, size of IRS
Townhall noted that the call for more IRS funding was put forward Monday by Natasha Sarin, the counselor for Tax Policy and Implementation, who insisted, “The IRS needs stable, long-term funding. $80 billion over the course of the next decade will finally give the IRS the capacity to modernize and invest in a 21st-century workforce.”
“It will be a fairer and more equitable tax system, with the agency able to collect from top-earning evaders who currently skirt their responsibilities,” she continued.
“Today’s deadline is an inflection point in what has been the agency’s most challenging filing season in recent history,” Sarin added. “This is the byproduct of chronic underfunding that has starved the IRS of the tools it needs to serve the American people, coupled with a historic pandemic that introduced new responsibilities alongside mammoth challenges.”
IRS already has ample funding and history of abuse of power
However, Townhall noted that, according to a Government Accountability Office report, the IRS had ample funding to do its job, and the real problems it faced stemmed from bad mismanagement and misplaced priorities.
Further, the Washington Examiner reported that there is a nearly nonexistent appetite among congressional Republicans to provide the IRS with any additional funding or power, given its prior admitted abuse of existing powers for partisan purposes, such as the intense scrutiny applied to conservative nonprofit organizations that weren’t equally applied to liberal counterparts.
As for the $80 billion over 10 years that has been repeatedly requested by the Biden administration, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the requested funds would nearly double the IRS’s annual budget and more than double the number of agents it employs.
Biden’s beefed-up IRS would go after middle-class families and small businesses
CNBC reported in September 2021 that President Biden’s request for additional IRS funding and personnel was initially included as part of his Build Back Better spending bill that, thankfully, has been blocked and all but killed in Congress.
Per the administration and its supporters, the extra funding and personnel would be tasked to go after only the most wealthy corporations and individuals accused of tax evasion or other crimes.
In reality, though, those additional agents would almost certainly extend their gaze well beyond the relative handful of high-earners in the top 1 percent and instead begin to audit middle-class families and small businesses, particularly those that deal with lots of cash, such as restaurants and retail and service industries who may not have expert accountants to navigate the myriad of complex and confusing tax codes they are expected to abide by.