WASHINGTON (AP) – The IRS released details Thursday on how it plans to use an $80 billion infusion of funds to improve operations, pledge to invest in new technology, hire more customer service representatives and attract high-money To expand the capacity of audit of taxpayers.
While some Republicans have suggested without evidence that money from Democrats’ historic climate change and health care bill will help create hordes of armed auditors to harass middle-class taxpayers, new IRS commissioner Daniel Werfel said it will involve new agents. Will not include expenses for accompanying guns.
The agency’s newly released Strategic Operating Plan lays out specifics of how the IRS will allocate the $80 billion through fiscal year 2031 that was approved into law.
Some reforms were long expected, such as bringing more paper-based systems online and answering taxpayers’ phone calls more quickly. Others are more ambitious: continuing to explore ways to create a government-run electronic free-file tax return system, for example.
No hiring growth is expected for the Criminal Investigations Unit, which represents 3% of the agency’s workforce and employs about 2,077 special agents as of the 2022 budget year, according to the IRS’ annual report. They are agents that may be armed.
That division has “no plans to grow,” Werfel said during a call with reporters. “He’ll stay at his current rate.”
Since President Joe Biden signed a measure known as the “Inflation Reduction Act” in August, some Republicans have claimed the IRS is using the new money to hire an army of 87,000 tax agents with weapons in hand. Will use
The claim comes from a plan the Treasury Department proposed in 2021 to provide money to many IRS employees over the next decade. At least 50,000 IRS employees are expected to retire in the next five years.
Strategic planning doesn’t include final numbers on long-term hiring.
During the call with reporters, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said the plan was “driven heavily by the fact that we need to make technology investments that will improve productivity, which will mean that over time the workforce and The mix of employees the IRS will change.”
After Congress passed the law last summer, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen directed the IRS to develop a plan outlining how the tax agency would improve its technology, customer service and hiring processes. Her memo sent instructions to IRS leadership not to increase audit rates on people earning less than $400,000 a year.
Officials are pledging “not to raise audit rates on small businesses and households making less than $400,000 a year relative to historic levels.” The report said that more than half of the new money – $45.6 billion – would be devoted to propping up high-wealth individuals and companies.
“Given the size and complex nature of these tax filings, this work often requires specialized approaches and we will make these resources available,” the report said. “We will use data and analytics to improve our understanding of the tax filings of high-wealth individuals.”
Treasury and IRS officials have promoted the impact of the new spending on internal processes in recent months.
Robert Nassau, director of the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at Syracuse University College of Law, said he’s seen some noticeable differences.
“The phone line has improved amazingly, that part of the IRS is doing an amazingly better job,” he said. “But I can see that the processing time for written submissions has not returned to pre-pandemic adequacy.”
Additional funding for the IRS has been politically controversial since 2013, when the agency was found to be scrutinizing political groups that applied for tax-exempt status during the Obama administration. A report by the Treasury Department’s internal watchdog found that both conservative and liberal groups were singled out for intense review.
National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins wrote in a blog post that while the plan focuses disproportionately on enforcement, “for the first time in my 40 years as a tax professional, the stars of tax administration align with the newly issued Looking” scheme.
Jean Ross, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said in an emailed statement that “the funding will more than pay for itself by ensuring the IRS can hold the very wealthy and large corporations accountable.”
Fatima Hussain, The Associated Press
The post IRS Pledges More Audits Of The Wealthy, Better Customer Service appeared first on Stars Daddy.