The IRS provided information on how it intends to use the $80 billion injection for better operations on Thursday, promising to invest in new technology, recruit more customer service agents, and increase its capacity to examine high-wealth taxpayers.
The new IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel said the money from the Democrats’ historical climate change and health care plan would not go toward funding for more officers with guns, despite some Republicans’ unfounded claims to the contrary.
The IRS’s recently issued strategic operations plan outlines how the $80 billion authorized by that law will be distributed through the fiscal year 2031.
Specific improvements, including shifting more paper-based systems online and immediately returning taxpayers’ phone calls, have been anticipated for a while.
Some are more ambitious, such as the ongoing research into how to develop a government-run computerized free-file tax return system.
The criminal investigation section, which accounts for 3% of the agency’s personnel and employs about 2,077 special agents as of the 2022 budget year, is not expected to have a staffing increase. The agents who might have weapons are those.
Werfel stated in a conference call with reporters that there are “no plans to grow” that division. It will continue to happen at the same pace.
Conservatives have argued that the IRS would use the additional funds to employ an army of 87,000 armed tax officers since President Joe Biden signed the “Inflation Reduction Act” in August.
That assertion is based on a plan the Treasury Department put forth in 2021 to hire that many IRS workers over the following ten years if it received funding. Over the next five years, at least 50,000 IRS employees will retire.
The exact numbers for long-term hiring are not included in the strategic plan.
The plan “is heavily driven by the fact that we need to make technology investments that will improve productivity, which will mean that over time the number of employees and the mix of employees at the IRS will change,” Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo said during a conference call with reporters.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen instructed the IRS to create a plan describing how the tax agency would modernize its technology, customer service, and employment processes after Congress passed the law last summer.
She instructed IRS management in a message not to raise audit rates for anyone earning less than $400,000 yearly.
According to the paper, more than half of the new money — $45.6 billion — will be used to pursue high-wealth individuals and enterprises.
Authorities have pledged not “to hike audit rates on small businesses and households making under $400,000 per year, relative to historical levels.”
The paper stated that because of the scale and complexity of these tax files, this task frequently needs specialist methodologies.
“We will employ data and analytics to enhance our understanding of high-wealth individuals’ tax filings.”
Officials from the Treasury and IRS have recently emphasized how the extra expenditure will affect internal procedures.