Increasing The IRS Annual Budget By Seven Times Doesn’t Add Up

August 6, 2022 in Columnists, News by RBN Staff


Source: American Thinker
By Anony Mee

The talk in the media is about a “beefed-up” IRS. The IRS budget for FY 2022 totals nearly $14 billion ($11.9 billion in appropriated funds) with a full-time equivalent (FTE) staff ceiling of 79,808 (75,533 from appropriated funding.)

Now, the Democrat-controlled Congress, at the behest of the Biden Administration, wants to take that up an additional almost $80 billion, with 1% going to Department of the Treasury offices other than the IRS. That adds up to nearly $93 billion, seven times this year’s budget. SEVEN TIMES.

In addition, Democrats want to add in another 86,852 FTEs, more than doubling the staffing to 166,660. These positions are described as “new, specialized enforcement staff.” See page 17 of the American Families Plan Tax Compliance Agenda for more. The increased funding and staffing are designed to restore IRS enforcement capability through a sustained rebuilding of the IRS.

According to IRS data, staffing was at a peak in 1995 at 114,064 FTEs. That was before automation, common use internet, and e-filing. Data processing took more than a quarter of all staff.

Within two years, the data processing staff was cut in half—no surprise there—and disappeared altogether as a category a couple of years later. As banking became more automated, collections staff numbers other than revenue officers were reduced by two-thirds. With the advent of e-filing, the filing and account management staff declined. Staffing has been more or less at today’s level for a decade, which is eminently reasonable as more sophisticated automation is available to both the IRS and the taxpayer. Under these circumstances, the IRS will not be rebuilding its old structure nor restoring anything that may have been lost. So, what’s going on?

Something doesn’t add up. We know through observing Biden Administration and Congressional activities over the past half year that it takes about $80 billion to cover our costs for a proxy war between the US/NATO and another nuclear power.

While practice doesn’t always make perfect, it certainly sets a pattern. Now, the same actors plan to spend $80 billion going after unpaid income taxes. However, it looks more like Biden and his pet Congresscritters are about to fund a war on We the People.

Image in the Public Domain.

Too much, you say? Well, we’ve been bombarded from all sides with a reduction in domestic fuel supplies and a corresponding doubling in price at the pump; instability in stock, commodities, housing, and precious metals markets; record inflation rates across all sectors; and stuttering food shortages they tell us will only get worse. All courtesy of Biden and the Dems. Softening us up for a bigger blow, maybe?

On April 29, 2021, Biden announced as part of his Jobs and Family Plan that the IRS was going to crack down on millionaires and billionaires who cheat on their taxes. Billions of dollars, he promised, would be recovered. Within a few days, Treasury estimated that, as of 2019, $600 billion in back taxes were owed. It opined that, for every dollar spent on enforcement, $4 could be recovered. The Biden administration treats this as a straight-line proposition, but the pool of tax cheats is not large, and the recoverable funds are not infinite. Over time, as enforcement is increasingly effective, less and less funding will be recovered.

Biden’s Build Back Better Framework, issued in October 2021, noted that wage earners had a 99% tax compliance rate and that the miscreant 1% evades about $160 billion per year in taxes. Sounds like a lot, but it’s not too bad actually: that’s just 4% of the $3.863 trillion taken in. Given that perfection will always elude us, at what point does this become statistically insignificant and unjustifiably wasteful? There are about 12,000 “agents” in the IRS, and about 145 million taxpayers. Do we really need 87,000 more agents to address issues with maybe a million and a half taxpayers? Absolutely not!

So, again, what’s this money for? In the original BBB bill, this section took up a page. Now, it’s ten pages long.  It starts on page 1926 of the current version of H.R. 5376 and on page 31 of the Senate’s draft Inflation Reduction Act; versions are slightly different but the total is the same. In the $45 billion enforcement section, we’ve got “…to provide digital asset monitoring….”

If that doesn’t make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up I don’t know what will. The IRS should be concerned only with assets it suspects are being funded through tax fraud and it doesn’t take $45 billion to do that. But to establish the ability to implement Senator Warren’s unconstitutional “wealth tax,” well, it might just be enough.

$403 million for the Inspector General to keep the IRS on the straight and narrow? Maybe hire some ethical folks, get rid of those that misbehave, and save that money.

And about those 87,000 new folks? The IRS already can’t meet its annual hiring goals. If you worked there, would you let folks know? A friend of mine even kept her family in the dark.

IRS agents are accountants. Now that the San Diego school district is giving straight As to every child who lives in the district, whether or not they show up at school, think any of them will be able to make it through 30 semester hours of increasingly complex accounting courses?

Forty percent of all accounting graduates opt to become CPAs, which takes them out of the running for entry-level agent positions. CPAs need a full year’s worth of credits on top of their degree, a couple of years in a public accounting sweatshop, passing all the segments of the CPA exam, and annual continuing education credits. Starting wages for agents are significantly lower than for private industry accountants.

Buried in the wording is a paragraph giving the Secretary of the Treasury the ability to hire directly into the competitive service without regard for current laws that mandate publicly announcing available competitive service openings. The Secretary can ignore all federal laws that give hiring preference to veterans, the disabled, former employees (that would include those fired for not taking the co-vax), military spouses, Peace Corps volunteers, etc. That’s one way to make sure only those who meet a political smell test get to participate in this new IRS enforcement program.

This is unsupportable—it’s unnecessary, wasteful, and is covering up the true plans of Pelosi, Schumer, Warren, Sanders, and the rest of the ultra-pro-regressive cohort. Stop it now. Stop this war on We the People.

Senators Manchin and Sinema, I’m surprised and very disappointed that you could agree to such a huge hit on your constituents. The cost of letting this go through will be far greater than any cost associated with voting Nay.

Anony Mee is the nom de blog of a retired public servant.