This commentary is by Paul Dame, chair of the Vermont GOP.
Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of Americans quite like the IRS. This is especially true for small business owners whose own tax filings are so complicated they rely on the expertise of professionals, and yet even when those professionals make a mistake, it’s the business owner who gets the stress.
Despite COVID closures and a newly minted recession, Democrats in Congress are now piling on to further burden not just small business owners but taxpayers in general. Thanks to the support of the once-lauded Democrat Joe Manchin capitulating to progressive Democrats to pass a new spending bill, Americans are looking down the barrel of some serious trouble from the IRS.
Biden and the Democrats are proposing to double the size of the IRS by adding over 86,000 agents, most of whom will be assigned to enforcement. That’s right, if this bill passes the Senate every American could see their chance of an audit go up 100%.
While some advocates will claim that adding enforcement agents will only catch the bad guys, the problem is that Democrats once again ignore a lot of the intangibles that can come when an innocent business owner gets audited. There is an incredible level of stress, preparation and uncertainty that comes with an IRS audit because we have this crazy system where we are forced to pay an amount to the government, but the taxpayer is the one who has to guess how much — and if you guess wrong you could be hit with penalties and interest.
Now obviously, we need someone to enforce the laws — otherwise what’s the point of having them. And there are plenty of criminals committing fraud in the U.S. tax system. But given the history of the IRS under the Obama administration and their focus on conservative nonprofit groups, it is hard for anyone to trust that this new massive agency is going to be implemented evenly.
Maybe they will, and maybe middle class small business owners will see no impact because they are chasing the super wealthy. But it’s hard to trust Democrats after they have used the IRS as a political weapon in the past. And with so many small businesses who were trying to navigate the uncertainty and tedious bureaucracy of PP loans and other programs thrown as a lifeline in the midst of economic chaos that came with lockdowns, how many of them would be able to face the prospect of IRS enforcement? Well if Democrats get their way we just might find out.
7 thoughts on “Paul Dame: Chance of tax audit could go up 100% if Biden doubles IRS”
well then, interesting comments; thanks for the lessons. let them also look into politicians first…..trading, donations and so on………start at the top, work the way down…..then the banks, then the big corps and businesses ..again working the way down……seems fair to me
The IRS is stockpiling millions of ammunition rounds…WHY?
Ukraine is running out of soldiers,so we’re sending IRS agents.
Dopes on parade, again. I am fine catching tax cheats…but human bodies which cost $$$ are not the way to go. All is computerized & documented in 2022. All the IRS neeeds is the latest technology, software & hardware. Human agents will be hampered anyway…because of the ANCIENT systems the IRS uses!. Use the billions $ for new systems:
“The IRS is using what is called in IT lingo, “legacy” systems. A legacy system is an old computer system, technology, or application program that is still in use. To put the age of this system in perspective, when this system was first implemented, “The Andy Griffith Show” was premiering. The two software languages being used were first introduced in the 1950s. Even a number of desktops and servers are running on old versions of Windows. The primary software for the master file system is called “assembler.” This is a low-level, machine-dependent language. What this means in English is that the program uses symbolic language as the input that is directly” assembled” into the binary code, which is the set of instructions that are specific to a particular machine. That is why the IRS is stuck using older IBM mainframes.
The reason these systems have not been replaced is due to budget constraints and the fact that with software and hardware that is this outdated. The approach thus far has been more of a “‘Band-aid’ approach.” The IRS spends 2.7 billion dollars on IT and the lion’s share of that goes to the maintenance of old systems. “
Wall Street has dirty money up the wazoo. Computer programs can only indicate it’s dirty. You need troops on the ground examining the records of payments and disbursements. I know a guy who made a fortune inspecting the books and the cancelled checks and pointing out to the bank regulators what was kosher and what wasn’t.
It might take three or four years for the IRS to develop a case against a too-big-to-jail bank. If there aren’t enough agents, it doesn’t happen; instead, the IRS sends the agents out for the low-hanging fruit, e.g., the guy who underreports the income from his under-the-table second job and can’t afford a lawyer, so it can report lots of successes to the White House every year.
Anybody making less than $70K in Vermont ought to be screaming for a LOT more IRS agents.
The whole tax system is a debacle and an albatross around the necks of citizens. It is in place solely for Congress to manipulate us and to curry favor with donors. An income tax is an idiotic way to pay for government. We should change to a national sales tax whereby people pay according to what they spend, not what they earn. Those pesky rich folk will pay more because they spend more. All the tax cheats and others who live outside the law will automatically be contributing. Of course the corrupt politicians will never let it happen, but it is clearly a far superior system to the trainwreck we have now.
A low number of IRS agents ensures that the agency will go for the low-hanging fruit– taxpayers who make less than $70,000 a year– and let the 5% (those earning $160K or more), with their accountants and defense attorneys making enforcement unlikely.
Nobody deserves IRS scrutiny more than Wall Street, but to audit just Goldman Sachs would require hiring 7,500 agents. Doubling the IRS force is not going to provide enforcement where it’s most needed.
Fighting the increase in agents is merely protecting those who have benefited immensely from lack of oversight.
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