IRS To Hire 40% More Tax Enforcers

IRS Building
IRS Building | Image by Heidi Besen/Shutterstock

The Internal Revenue Service is planning to add 5,462 new enforcement personnel in fiscal year 2024 to help address the purported tax gap created by taxpayers with complex filings and high dollar non-compliance.

Among the nearly 5,500 new enforcement personnel forecast to be hired, the IRS is planning to add a net total of 265 revenue officers, 4,704 revenue agents, and 493 special agents, according to a new report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

Although the IRS is projecting to hire 7,270 new enforcement personnel in FY 2024, the agency anticipates losing a total of 1,808 personnel due to attrition.

About 13,500 new enforcement personnel were recruited in FY 2023, while the staffing goal for FY 2024 is nearly 19,000, marking a 40% increase year over year.

To fund the 40% increase in enforcement personnel, the IRS will use taxpayer money authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Overall, the IRA authorized $78 billion in supplemental spending for the IRS through September 30, 2031. Of this total, $44.2 billion will be used for enforcement.

However, despite receiving billions in funding, Republicans on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee have criticized the agency over its increased enforcement efforts and general “dysfunction.”

For instance, Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI) grilled the IRS last October over its poor customer service, data breaches, leaks, backlogs, and problems surrounding identity theft.

“This funding spree prioritizes enforcement over improving taxpayer services,” McClain told IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, reported The Epoch Times. “If a private business did what the IRS does on a daily basis, it would quickly go out of business.”

Democrats, however, who have wanted to step up enforcement, focused on the agency’s improvements.

“The IRS answered 6.5 million more calls than last year, cutting the wait times down by 86 percent, which I think is phenomenal,” Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-MD) said. “It served more than 140,000 additional taxpayers and cleared the backlog of unprocessed 2022 individual tax returns with no errors. Now, you’ve got to be doing something right to have those kinds of numbers that are certifiable and verifiable.”

Though the IRS has committed to stepping up enforcement in 2024, agents will no longer make surprise visits to people’s homes or businesses to resolve any unpaid tax issues, as reported by The Dallas Express.

“If someone’s ringing your doorbell, it’s extremely unlikely to be an IRS collection employee unless you made an appointment for a home visit,” Werfel told reporters last summer, per CNBC. “The change reverses a long-standing practice by IRS revenue officers that goes back decades.”

In October, the IRS projected that the annual tax gap in the United States rose to $688 billion in tax year 2021.

Even though this marked a “significant jump from previous estimates,” the IRS predicts that more enforcement personnel will help shrink the gap in back taxes.

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