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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Taxation and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Oversight, today discussed the Democrats’ plan to supersize the Internal Revenue Service’s enforcement arm while disproportionately funding customer service-related functions at the agency. Thune also discussed his IRS Funding Accountability Act, legislation that would give Congress a direct say in how the unprecedented $80 billion in new funding could be spent, hold the IRS more accountable, and provide greater transparency to taxpayers.
Excerpt of Thune’s remarks below:
“Last August, with the narrowest of majorities Democrats gave the IRS approximately $80 billion – a sum equal to six times the agency’s 2022 budget.
“Of the $80 billion provided to the IRS, more than half – about $46 billion – is directed toward enforcement activities, which includes increasing audits and hiring more enforcement agents.
“But only 4 percent of the $80 billion – 4 percent – was earmarked for improving taxpayer services.
“That is an overwhelmingly disproportionate amount directed to increased enforcement compared to taxpayer services.
“The National Taxpayer Advocate herself criticized the lopsided funding for enforcement.
“Since the IRA’s enactment, Democrats have doubled-down and made calls to further supersize the IRS enforcement arm.
“The President’s budget seeks an additional $29 billion in supplemental funding to the IRS for enforcement – again, in addition, to the $46 billion for enforcement the IRS received only months ago.
“For context, the IRS’s supplemental enforcement funding amount alone eclipses appropriations for Customs and Border Patrol, which received approximately $18 billion in total this year.
“Based on funding priorities, it seems that Democrats’ intent is to create a bigger and more intrusive enforcement-focused agency – without annual accountability to taxpayers and Congress.
“While Republicans are open to discussions about IRS resources, efficiency, accountability, and improvements to taxpayer services should be prioritized – all of which are lacking in the Inflation Reduction Act.”