The IRS announced Friday that it is targeting a group of high-income earners and corporations who have failed to pay their taxes in full — about 1,600 millionaires who owe hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid taxes.
In addition to high-net-worth individuals, the IRS will focus on 75 large business partnerships that control an average of $10 billion in assets, he said. Those partnerships include hedge funds, real estate investment trusts and large law firms, all of which have particularly complex tax structures.
Driven by new funding: The tax agency was able to make the effort possible thanks to funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, which initially provided $80 billion over 10 years to grow IRS staff and technology, although some of the funding was redirected as part of the debt ceiling. agreement at the beginning of this year.
IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel told reporters that the agency has been involved in a major recruitment drive since it was launched last year, and the expanded workforce is using new artificial intelligence tools to identify wealthy taxpayers who have “cut corners” or engaged in sophisticated tax avoidance schemes.
“This new compliance push makes good on the promise of the Inflation Reduction Act to ensure that the IRS holds our wealthiest filers accountable for paying the full amount they owe,” he said. Associated Press. “We will step up our enforcement efforts against those who pose a serious threat to our nation’s tax system, prevent the wealthy from paying their fair share, or forcefully sell incentives.”
The agency noted some successes earlier this year, including recovering $38 million in delinquent taxes from more than 175 high-income taxpayers.
Political situation: Republicans have bitterly complained about increased funding for the IRS and have tried to eliminate almost all of it, in some cases saying the money is used to hire thousands of armed tax agents, relentlessly targeting innocent families and small businesses. The debt ceiling and budget deal reached in June included a $1.4 billion budget cut for the IRS as well as an agreement to shift $20 billion to other agencies over the next two years.
Friday’s announcement pushes back against that GOP narrative and efforts to repeal the supplemental funding. Emphasizing the positive results so far, the agency he said. Focusing specifically on “high-income earners, partnerships, large corporations and promoters who abuse the country’s tax laws,” it clearly shows “a shift in focus from working-class taxpayers to the wealthy.”
However, the announcement is unlikely to satisfy anti-tax activists and their political allies. America’s Grover Norquist for tax reform — a tax-cut advocate saying he wants to block government funding is enough to “wash it down the drain” — warned that there’s always a risk the IRS could reverse it. Focus on the future. “This power and these resources allow them to go after what they want,” he told The Associated Press. “The next step is to go after anyone you want to target for political purposes.”
Still, the IRS will continue to make its case for the new approach, and Democrats will want to preserve what remains of the funding increase. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, “I hope my Republican colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee will work with Democrats to ensure the IRS has the resources it needs to effectively fulfill its responsibilities and serve the American taxpayer.” They spoke The hill.