By Naveen Athrappully
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Cali.) distributed a memo (pdf) to GOP lawmakers Thursday claiming that the expanded provisions in President Biden’s social spending bill will result in an additional 1.2 million IRS audits each year.
Nearly 50 percent of the audits—over 583,000—would be targeted at families earning less than $75,000, and 25 percent—over 313,000—at those earning up to $25,000 per year. According to the memo penned by Republican members of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, $80 billion is allotted in mandatory funding towards the IRS, which will help in recruiting 87,000 new agents who will target Americans at every income level.
“President Biden wants to double Americans’ chances of getting audited in order to squeeze every single dollar they can from American families and small businesses to fund the most expensive piece of legislation in history,” McCarthy said in a statement, Fox Business reported. “This would be a nightmare state for families living in fear of an army of IRS bureaucrats designed to second-guess and spy on them.”
The total number of IRS audits is expected to double over a period of ten years, which also means more than 800,000 federal tax liens on taxpayer property like homes and vehicles. Most of the underreported income in the country comes from under the $200,000 bracket, based on the memo.
“Low and middle-income families are already struggling due to the inflation caused by Biden’s runaway spending, and Democrats’ spending spree is exactly the opposite of what the American people need right now,” McCarthy added.
Proponents of the tax plan claim that the new measures are necessary for cracking down on the wealthy who evade paying tax dues and closing the gap between what the IRS collects and what Americans owe. White House expects that an expanded IRS would bring in approximately $400 billion.
Democrats expect the revenue generated from the IRS will help cover costs for some of the initiatives undertaken in the bill including that of climate change. Based on the Congressional Budget Office’s final projections, the bill, if passed through Congress, would increase the U.S. deficit by $367 billion. This estimate does not include revenues collected from taxes, which the CBO suggested would be $207 billion over the next 10 years.
Despite the difference of $193 billion in IRS revenue estimates, the White House called the CBO’s report, “good news for Democrats,” CBS reports.
A White House fact sheet on Biden’s Build Back Better proposal says, “Additional enforcement resources will be focused on pursuing those with the highest incomes; not Americans with income less than $400,000.”
The House passed the bill Friday, and it now proceeds to the Senate, where one of the main oppositions is expected from Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia who has said that he will not support legislation that increases the federal deficit.
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