The IRS Expansion Plan: 14,000 More Employees For Audits

Written by Matthew Clarke.

In a terrifying move this week, IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel announced the agency’s need for increased funding to bolster its ranks. The proposed initiative aims to add 14,000 new employees by 2029, enhancing customer service, advancing technology, and boosting audit capabilities. Werfel’s request stems from a desire to restore $20 billion that Congress withdrew from an initial allocation provided by the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. This funding, he argues, is essential for the IRS to maintain its effectiveness amidst the growing complexity of U.S. tax laws.

While the IRS currently employs 90,000 full-time equivalents, the goal is to expand this number to 102,500. According to Werfel, this expansion wouldn’t set a record but would revert staffing levels to those seen in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a period he deems more reflective of the IRS’s needs today. He emphasizes that without this increase, taxpayer services could severely decline, impacting the ability of the IRS to serve the public efficiently and fairly.

The Technology and Service Dilemma

Another significant concern for Werfel is the IRS’s technological infrastructure, which he claims could become outdated by 2026 if the funding isn’t secured. Current projections suggest that customer service could plummet from an 88% satisfaction rate to a mere 30%. Such a drastic reduction would hinder the IRS’s capability to assist taxpayers, potentially leading to delays and increased frustrations for millions of Americans. This is not just a matter of improving technology but of sustaining the ability to offer timely and effective help to taxpayers.

Werfel is adamant that continued investment is crucial. He foresees that with stable and secure funding, the IRS can continue its trajectory towards significant modernization and enhanced taxpayer services. This proactive approach, he argues, is not merely about expanding the IRS but about preparing it to handle future challenges more adeptly, ensuring that it remains a robust entity capable of supporting the nation’s fiscal structure.

Our Take

The IRS’s request for additional funding and its plan to hire thousands of new employees raises important questions about the role of government in regulation and enforcement. While the need for an efficient IRS is undeniable, the proposed expansion should also prompt a discussion about accountability and efficiency within the agency. It is vital that as the IRS grows, it also becomes more transparent and effective in its operations, ensuring that taxpayer money is used responsibly. This is not just about growing bigger; it’s about growing better, smarter, and more responsive to the needs of the American people.

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