Washington D.C. – All of the recent progress catching more millionaire tax cheats, opening dozens of new in-person centers for taxpayers to get free help, eliminating backlogs and expanding online tax services would be reversed under $67 billion in cuts to the IRS now contained in multiple Republican appropriation bills, according to an analysis by NTEU.
The cuts, if approved, would rescind the vast majority of the $80 billion designated for the long-term rebuilding of the IRS as outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
“Just as the IRS is starting to show real, quantifiable improvement to customer service, enforcement and modernization, House Republicans are plotting to turn the clock back,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon.
Four separate appropriation bills for fiscal year 2024 would slash most of the funding Congress already agreed was needed for the IRS to recover from a decade of neglect that gutted the workforce, deserted outdated computer systems and left taxpayers out in the cold.
All told, the four bills would completely eliminate the $44 billion intended to improve enforcement over the next decade. And because Congress has already agreed to claw back $20 billion of the $80 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act, these four bills rescind more money than actually remains.
“Frontline IRS employees, with proper resources, staffing and training, are proving they can deliver the kind of tax administration system that this country deserves, where the wealthy pay what they owe under the law and regular Americans get the help they need to file their returns,” Reardon said. “It remains shocking how eager some lawmakers are to, once again, hobble the agency responsible for enforcing the tax laws they wrote and collect the revenue needed to run the country.”
With great transparency, the IRS released information today documenting how the first few dollars from the Inflation Reduction Act have been used wisely and effectively for the benefit of the American people. Among the highlights are:
• An 87 percent customer service rate in the 2023 filing season, a major improvement from the previous year;
• Digitizing 80 times more returns than last year, speeding up operations by reducing the amount of paperwork;
• Scheduling eight Community Assistance Events for taxpayers in rural areas to get more in-person assistance;
• Opened 32 Taxpayer Assistance Centers that had been closed for lack of staffing, and opened three new ones;
• Closed 175 delinquent tax cases involving millionaires, collecting $38 million they owed;
• Found 100 wealthy people attempting to cheat the system by hiding income in Puerto Rico;
• Ramping up investigations of people who buy luxury items instead of paying their taxes, including one who bought a Maserati and a Bentley with money he owed the U.S. government;
• Bought new mail sorting machines and scanners to make submission processing work faster and more effective.
The IRS spent about $106 million of the Inflation Reduction Act funds in fiscal year 2022 and was planning to spend about $2.8 billion of it in fiscal year 2023, or less than 4 percent of the $80 billion.
“This remarkable progress in a short amount of time shows the IRS and its workforce are worthy of the investments that ultimately benefit the American people by making the system fairer and more efficient, and reducing the deficit by collecting more of what is owed under the law,” Reardon said. “This is why NTEU plans to fight these proposed cuts and help keep the IRS on the right track.”
NTEU represents employees in 34 federal agencies and offices.