The Wall Street Journal editorial board argued Tuesday the Inflation Reduction Act will greatly enhance the IRS’s power to audit citizens and this auditing power will adversely affect the middle class. The article, titled “The IRS Is About to Go Beast Mode,” contended that this constitutes a government scheme to take more taxpayer money.
“The Schumer-Manchin bill has $45.6 billion to audit the middle class,” the article’s subtitle read. They noted that Democrats believe that the bill will yield an additional $200 billion in government revenue and argued that this means “IRS auditors will soon be coming after tens of millions of Americans.”
The aforementioned $45.6 billion in the bill is designated for “enforcement” purposes, but the legislation gives a total of $80 billion in new funds to the tax collecting agency. “The $80 billion is more than six times the current annual IRS budget of $12.6 billion,” the editorial board noted.
“The main targets will by necessity be the middle- and upper-middle class because that’s where the money is,” they wrote.
“The Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s official tax scorekeeper, says that from 78% to 90% of the money raised from under-reported income would likely come from those making less than $200,000 a year,” the board continued.
The editors argued the superrich would be largely unaffected because “the IRS knows the super-wealthy employ lawyers and accountants who make litigation time-consuming and risky.”
However, “despite all this new money, Americans shouldn’t expect better IRS service. The agency in the 2022 filing season answered a mere 10% of its phone calls,” the editors wrote.
They also noted that millions of Americans are waiting six months or longer to receive their refunds. “Yet the Schumer-Manchin bill devotes only $3.2 billion for ‘taxpayer services,'” they noted grimly.
“The federal government isn’t starving for revenue. Congress wants more tax revenue because it can’t control its appetite for spending. That’s why it wants a tax agency in beast mode,” the editorial concluded.