IRS Upgrading Technology And Hiring 30K New Employees

The Internal Revenue Service plans to add almost 30,000 new agents to its roster in the next two years as part of President Joe Biden’s $80 billion investment into the powerful agency.

The world’s largest tax collection group also announced it will implement new technology with the hirings to strengthen tax enforcement and customer service. The Thursday proclamation said nearly 9,000 of the new hires will be enforcement personnel.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said the IRS “is going to hire more data scientists than they ever have for enforcement purposes.” These, he claimed, will augment traditional tax attorneys and revenue agents.

Along with using new data analytics technology, he believes the agency will better identify targets for audits.

Customer service, historically a sore point for the IRS, will be reinforced with 5,000 new staff. These fresh employees will be tasked with answering telephones, restaffing assistance centers, and processing returns.

At least that may be good news for the taxpaying public. Currently only one in eight calls to the IRS are answered by a human being and well over a million returns still await processing.

The plans by the Biden White House to strengthen the already-powerful agency concern congressional Republicans. Many warn that the moves enabled by the so-called Inflation Reduction Act will lead to more audits of small businesses and American families.

Despite administration assertions to the contrary, the IRS predominantly targets Americans who are not considered wealthy. In fact, the lion’s share of audits — over 90% — are endured by families and small businesses earning less than $400,000 per year.

These figures are from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently confirmed that the 90% figure for new IRS audits will continue. This, of course, flies in the face of Biden’s repeated mantra of targeting tax cheats and billionaires. While the sound bites are enticing, the facts say otherwise.

This is the same administration that wants to revamp tip reporting to go after the wait staff at restaurants. They also seek to require reporting online payments above a microscopic $600 threshold. In other words, the target remains the little guy despite rhetoric preaching the opposite.