As the Democrats in the Senate force through the $740 billion “Inflation Reduction Act” as of this past Sunday, the American public just might see a lot of 87,000 new agents of the Internal Revenues Service (IRS) in order to make sure taxpayers with “better service,” according to one very liberal lawmaker.
As the country deals with a recession and rising levels of inflation, U.S. Senators came up with a tie while casting their votes for this new piece of legislation. All 50 Democrats of the Senate voted in favor and support, and all 50 Republican members voted to reject the act, which let Vice President Kamala Harris step in to do some actual work with her tie-breaking vote.
While the new bill puts heavy emphasis on spending aimed at climate and health packages — an extra $80 billion would primarily enhance the enforcement powers of the IRS and operations while modernizing the new technology systems. IRS enforcement aims to increase the overall level of auditing aimed at the wealthy and set up a minimum tax on large corporations over the coming decade.
However, this number of new agents has many Americans among the working class worried about seeing a noticeable tax increase, especially when you consider Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) once said that increasing the tax level while in a recession is the wrong way to go about, as reported by Fox News.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) tried to step up to ease the worries of taxpayers while speaking on “Fox News Sunday” with Host Mike Emanuel when questioned about if the hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents should “scare the heck out of millions of Americans.”
“Millions of Americans aren’t going to be impacted by that other than getting better service from the IRS having their telephone answer getting the questions they need in order to comply with our tax laws,” explained Cardin. “The auditing is going to be focused on those of high income, the large corporations, etc.”
Charles P. Rettig, the IRS commissioner, stated to Congress that if the agency were allowed to get the additional $80 billion via this new piece of legislation, it would no cause an increase in the audits of households that earn less than $400,000, as reported by The New York Times.
It has been reported by the Washington Post that over half of the agency’s overall audits from this past year exclusively targeted those who earn under a total of $75,000, with 40% income tax credits. Data also highlights that the agency has bled off over 16,000 employees since 2010.
The Associated Press stated that one senior administration official from within the U.S. Treasury Department claimed that such a bill would raise a net of $400 billion over the next ten years. Such a net increase could see improvements for the federal agencies’ customer service team, a team that normally can only answer roughly 15% of the total calls it gets when compared to the remaining callers waiting on hold while the next rep ends their time with other people.
“So there’s no reason to be fearful,” stated Sen. Cardin. “And if you have paid your taxes and if you comply with our laws, you should want to make sure everyone else does that.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) explained to Dana Bash, CNN host of State of the Union, that he thinks the IRS would go after the highest income Americans.
“As the saying goes, that’s where the money is,” explained Blumenthal, making reference to a quote from back in the 1930s from notorious bank robber Willie Sutton when asked why he robbed banks. “That’s where they’re going to look to collect.”
“The idea that there’s going to be this army of IRS agents … descending on the average American is just preposterous,” he went on.
The new bill is now slated to head over to the U.S. House of Representatives in which the members are slated to reconvene near te end of the week to carry out a vote on the new piece of legislation.