Readers Write: To fund or defund the hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents? That is the question.

Readers Write: To fund or defund the hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents? That is the question.


This is for all of you who are supporters of the Republican Party. Aren’t you happy that they took control of the House of Representatives and their first priority is to repeal the funding for 87,000 new IRS agents?

Did you know that the evil IRS is good for “We the People”? Did you know that most of the money that the government spends to maintain our wonderful way of life comes from the collection of taxes; 50% from individual income taxes, 7% from corporate income taxes and another 36% from payroll taxes that fund social insurance programs like Social Security and Medicare.

From these funds, we pay and support our military, build roads and bridges, support public transportation, finance education, provide low-interest mortgages and almost anything else that you can think of that affects our daily lives. Did you know that this evil IRS is what keeps America going on a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to year basis?

Let’s talk about the IRS and taxes. You might ask, what do I know about such subjects? Years ago, I was very involved, working for one of the top accounting firms in America. At that time, the Internal Revenue Service was both respected and feared. They were simply doing their jobs and raising the funds necessary for the government to function.

Audits of the high-income individuals and big businesses generated a great deal of revenue. Those audits were handled by “revenue agents” with sufficient training and experience who were qualified to examine those complex tax returns. But over the years, audits of that high earnings groups have diminished due to the availability or rather the lack of IRS “revenue agents.”

Currently, the most basic tax returns are checked out by “tax examiners,” who normally review the returns for accuracy. “Revenue agents” used to outnumber tax examiners, but this has slowly shifted over time. This changing mix of IRS audit staff has had a profound impact on both which types of returns get audited, as well as the depths of these audits. The scales have tilted toward the IRS targeting fewer complex issues and returns and conducting fewer in-depth audits.

While tax examiners may be cheaper to hire in the short run, the unavailability of experienced “revenue agents” means that complex tax returns often go unexamined, while complicated tax issues, if reviewed at all, are not audited in as much depth. Yet these are the targets where experts believe the largest amount of tax revenue is escaping detection and collection.

Now the proposed influx of money to the IRS will lead to hiring 87,000 new IRS agents and generate more funds to help the government cover their proposed expenditures. But Speaker McCarthy and the Republicans claim that hiring more IRS agents will allow them to harass everyday Americans.

Do you believe the Republicans really want to protect everyday Americans?  Fact is, we really do need protection. In the past year, the IRS went after taxpayers who reported less than $25,000 in income. They were being audited at a rate five times higher than for other groups. Out of 23.6 million tax returns filed by that low-income group, almost 307,000 were audited. That’s over 13%. But what about tax returns of millionaires?

Out of 617,505 tax returns of millionaires filed, only 13,725 were audited. That’s a minimal 2.2%. The reason it was so low, as mentioned above, is due to the fact that there was and currently is a critical limitation in the IRS’s ability to audit millionaires due to the unavailability of experienced “revenue agents.” What’s the real reason why the Republicans insist that it stays that way? The answer! To protect their high-income supporters.

Shouldn’t millionaires, billionaires and multibillion-dollar corporations be audited at the same or even higher rate than the lowest earning taxpayers, especially when the government is in need of more funds in order to balance the budget? Hiring 87,000 new IRS agents would help even the score and have these favored, well-connected individuals and corporations pay their fair share. Let’s get back to having our representatives work for us. We the People should hold them responsible for favoring those who help put money into their campaigns and possibly into their pockets.

Alvin Goldberg

Great Neck


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