Democrats demand IRS explain why audits of poor taxpayers have doubled

Democrats demand IRS explain why audits of poor taxpayers have doubled
Image via Wikimedia Commons

Two Democratic lawmakers are demanding answers from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to explain why poor American taxpayers are being audited far more than wealthy individuals.

According to Bloomberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) have asked IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig to offer an explanation for the IRS' "rise in audits of those earning less than $25,000;" an increase that clashes President Joe Biden's policy designed not increase tax evaluations for Americans earning less than $400,000, annually.

In a letter to Rettig, the Congressional members acknowledged the IRS' shortcomings but urged the agency to refrain from targeting poor Americans and align with the Biden's administration not to do so.

“We know the IRS suffers from underfunding, and we are working to secure substantial, permanent funding so the IRS can take on the tax cheating of giant corporations and the ultra-wealthy,” the progressives Chu and Warren wrote in a letter obtained by Bloomberg News. “But, we also urge you to move swiftly to end the targeting of low-income Americans, in line with the administration’s commitment.”

Warren and Chu also expressed concern about the agency's tactics to determine which individuals to audio. Instead of focusing on the detriment of cases, the IRS has reportedly focused on the most cost-efficient cases.

Per Blooming, the lawmakers said, "they were concerned that the IRS is increasingly using correspondence audits -- examinations conducted by mail -- to audit low-income taxpayers because they are simpler and cheaper than the more complex examinations needed to audit wealthier taxpayers."

The lawmakers' latest petition comes as IRS audits have hit a record low due to deep budget cuts for the agency. However, Biden is advocating for a massive investment of $80 billion over the course of the next 10 years to help rebuild its capabilities.

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