Taxpayer advocate says $80 billion IRS funding boost does not do enough to help taxpayers
A key office within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that advocates on behalf of taxpayers said Thursday that the $79.6 billion funding boost in Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) focuses too much on enforcement and audits while doing little to help U.S. taxpayers, according to a report.
For several decades, the IRS has been underfunded, unable to hire more personnel and update its technology, resulting in several months of service delays, according to the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) report. President Joe Biden signed the IRA into law in August 2022, giving the IRS a significant budget boost over the next 10 years in order to hire new agents as well as expand the agency’s operations, facilities and services.
The IRA “allocated the funds in a manner that does not address the needs of U.S. taxpayers, including individuals, families, and businesses,” the report, written by Advocate Erin Collins, said.
Out of the nearly $80 billion, just $3.2 billion was allocated for Taxpayer Services while a whopping $45.6 billion went towards enforcement, accounting for 90% of the total budget, the report said. Another $4.8 billion was provided to modernize critical technologies utilized by the agency.
“The top tax administration priority now should be to improve taxpayer service, particularly after the struggles of the last few years, and to do that, the IRS needs more funding in the Taxpayer Services and BSM accounts. Second, the IRS must strike an appropriate balance between serving taxpayers and enforcing the law,” Collins said.
“Our nation’s taxpayers deserve a responsive and respectful tax administration that serves all taxpayers fairly, is not overly burdensome for individuals, families, and businesses, and instills trust in our tax system,” Collins wrote.