Saturday, April 13, 2024

Alexander: Biden administration unleashes 87,000 new, armed IRS agents

by BIZ Magazine

In the recent Inflation Reduction Act (which will actually feed the fires of inflation) there is an appropriation of $80 billion to the IRS.  A chunk of this money will go to hiring 87,000 new employees and effectively doubling the current number of agents.

So why does the IRS need 87,000 new, armed agents?

The only reasonable answer that is supported with data is that the Biden Administration intends for the IRS to target the middle class in order to pay for its out-of-control spending which has caused the highest inflation in the last 40 years. 

As Heritage Foundation has observed “Auditing every single taxpayer with annual income over $1 million would require only 25,000 new IRS enforcement agents, but Democrats’ bill calls for 87,000 new agents.  What will all those extra agents be doing?”

The Biden Administration and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have stated, “these (new) resources are absolutely not about increasing audit scrutiny on small businesses or middle-income Americans.  As we’ve been planning, our investment of these enforcement resources is designed around the Department of the Treasury’s directive that audit rates will not rise relative to recent years for households making under $400,000.”

Do we really believe that?

If we simply consider the sheer magnitude of hiring 87,000 new IRS agents—and what the IRS estimates will be $204 billion in new revenues from enforcement—do we really believe all those new audits and revenues will only involve taxpayers making over $400,000? 

The answer is a resounding and categorical ‘no’!

As Heritage Foundation Tax Expert, Rachel Greszler, has written “despite the Biden Administration’s claims, it’s almost certain that households making less than $400,000 a year would face increased audits under the Democrats’ bill, and that seems to be the true intent of the IRS.”  In support of this conclusion Greszler notes that “according to a 2021 report from the Government Accountability Office, ‘from fiscal years 2010 to 2021, the majority of the additional taxes IRS recommended from audits came from taxpayers with incomes below $200,000.’”

Heritage further states that, when we consider that “only $3.2 billion would go to taxpayer services, despite the IRS answering only 18% of the phone calls it received in 2022.  That’s a mere 9% increase for funding in things like account services, taxpayer education, and filing assistance.”  Instead, “the lion’s share of the new funding, $45.6 billion, will go to enforcement activities like new audits, litigation, asset monitoring, and collections” performed by IRS Special Agents with guns.  (Preston Brashers, Tax Policy Expert, Heritage Foundation).

In a recent posted job opening for a special agent, the IRS specified that applicants should be “willing and able to participate in arrests, execution of search warrants, and other dangerous assignments,” and able to carry “a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary.”  However, “after sparking some controversy amid the proposed expansion of the agency, the IRS deleted ‘willing to use deadly force’ from the job description.” (Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal, August 12, 2022).

But they’ll still be armed and that seems foreboding and ominous to honest, hard-working Americans.

During the U.S. House floor debate on the bill, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., raised additional concerns about arming IRS agents. 

“This bill has new IRS agents and they are armed, and the job description tells them that they need to be required to carry a firearm and expect to use deadly force if necessary,” Boebert said. “Excessive taxation is theft.  You are using the power of the federal government for armed robbery on the taxpayers.”  

The middle class, already struggling under inflation and high food and fuel prices, doesn’t have the resources to pay a lawyer or an accountant to fight the IRS in court, so they will just pay the money and hope that the issue goes away—whether or not they owe the money. 

The realization of this threat to their livelihood and peace of mind doesn’t appear to have yet been internalized by most Americans. 

As U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall once said, “The power to tax is the power to destroy.”

All Americans must join together to stop this attempt to damage the hardworking American middle class through punitive taxation enforced by armed Special Agents.

Royal Alexander is a Shreveport attorney

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