Yarmuth: “I would implore my Republican colleagues to cut out the scare tactics, quit making things up, and debate the substance of this bill”
Bipartisan former IRS commissioners confirm: “for ordinary Americans who already fulfill their tax obligations, audit scrutiny will decline”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – While leading debate on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 on the House Floor today, Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, Chair of the House Budget Committee, rebuked Republicans for fearmongering and spreading misinformation about the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act related to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The Inflation Reduction Act invests $80 billion over ten years in the IRS to help the agency have the resources it needs to take on the wealthiest Americans who are using armies of lawyers and accountants to break the law and cheat on their taxes. Estimates suggest that the top 1% of Americans do not pay $160 billion in owed taxes each year. For each additional dollar invested in the IRS, the Treasury Department found an approximately $6 return to American taxpayers.
“IRS has never made any announcement about plans to hire any number of agents,” Yarmuth said, responding to misleading claims made by Republicans about the IRS funding provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. “This is Republicans making this up to scare the American people… I would implore my Republican colleagues to cut out the scare tactics, quit making things up, and debate the substance of this bill.”
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig committed to Congress that the resources for the IRS included in the Inflation Reduction Act would not increase audit rates for households making less than $400,000 annually. In a letter this week, Secretary Yellen also directed the IRS not to use any of the new funding allocated in this bill to increase the likelihood that Americans making less than $400,000 each year will get audited.
A bipartisan group of former IRS commissioners verified that “for ordinary Americans who already fulfill their tax obligations, audit scrutiny will decline, because the IRS will be better at selecting returns for examination… This bill is about getting to the heart of the problem and pursuing high-end taxpayers and corporations who today illegally evade their tax obligations.”
“It seems to me that Republicans just don’t want people to pay taxes, even if they’re owed,” said Yarmuth, after multiple Republicans continued to share false and misleading information about the IRS provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. “We know there are hundreds of billions of dollars of owed but not paid taxes in this country every year. And this is an attempt to try and recover some of that money that is owed and is not being paid by taxpayers who are, in many cases, cheating.”
Yarmuth also pointed out that the IRS funding was badly needed to help the IRS better serve taxpayers, cut down on backlogs and wait times, and help bring IRS technology into the 21st century: “A lot of this money is designed to go to help service the legitimate, lawful taxpayers of this country by giving them better service, making the IRS more responsive, and upgrading equipment, which is now 50, 60 years old in some cases,” Yarmuth said. “They can continue with this claim that we’re going to go after taxpayers with armed IRS agents — and I know that Republicans would like to arm every tax agent, as they would like to arm everybody else in this country — but that’s nonsense.”
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