The climate, health care, and tax bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act that was recently passed in the Senate allocates $80 billion to expand the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with the aim of bringing in hundreds of billions of dollars in additional tax revenue.
A little more than half of the $80 billion is dedicated to increased tax enforcement, and some estimates suggest it will be used to hire nearly 87,000 IRS agents over the next decade, although not all of those hires will represent new, additional staff positions.
Democrats say the goal is to raise an additional $200 billion in revenue through more aggressive tax enforcement, which they claim will be focused on the wealthy. Further, they say that new enforcement measures won't affect taxpayers who make less than $400,00 a year—even though Democrats explicitly voted down an amendment that would have enshrined that policy into law.
So, is this really just a plan to spend more money catching rich tax evaders? Or will the agency's new enforcement budget and expanded headcount inevitably lead to more audits of low- and middle-income taxpayers?
Mentioned in this podcast:
"Dems Want To Soak the Rich by Snooping on the Poor," by Matt Welch
"Biden's Total Financial Surveillance," by Matt Welch