IRS by Nick Youngson is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Today, ahead of his State of the Union Address, President Biden announced his plan to further increase IRS audits of taxpayers by “hundreds of billions of dollars.”

The dishonestly named Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) added $80 billion in new funding for the IRS. This additional spending was intended for hiring 87,000 new IRS agents to go after American families and small businesses to help finance Democrats trillion-dollar spending spree. 

Biden is now calling to extend boosted IRS funding beyond the years provided in the IRA and reverse course on already agreed upon cuts to IRA-level funding of the IRS.

Here it is straight from Biden’s “fact sheet” released earlier today:

“President Biden would raise hundreds of billions of dollars by protecting IRA funding from Republican cuts and extending it after it is exhausted so that the IRS can continue to build on this progress and crack down on wealthy tax cheats.”

Biden backtracks on debt limit deal signed with Republicans.

Today’s announcement seemingly contradicts the debt limit legislation Biden negotiated with House Republicans and signed into law last year.

This legislation cut roughly $21 billion of the increased IRS enforcement funding provided in the IRA – nearly half of the $45.6 billion allocated to increased tax enforcement.

Yet, today’s policy rollout explicitly calls for “protecting IRA funding from Republican cuts.”

Reversing course to maintain lRA-levels of funding for the IRS would violate the debt limit agreement the President struck with Republicans and signed into law.

Biden’s false claim the IRS is protecting taxpayers earning less than $400K from audits

The White House “fact sheet” falsely claims that the IRS is “protecting small businesses and taxpayers earning less than $400,000 from increased audit risk.”

In reality, the IRS is using IRA funds to deliberately increase audits on small businesses and middle class taxpayers. Democrats have repeatedly claimed this funding won’t go towards any new IRS audits on Americans making less than $400,000, but a estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows otherwise. The CBO estimates that at least $20 billion of new revenue from increased IRS audits will come from individuals earning less than $400,000 per year. 

Of the $80 billion in new funding, $45.6 billion will go towards tax enforcement while a mere $3.18 billion goes towards taxpayer services – meaning Democrats spent 14 times more on increasing enforcement than improving taxpayer services. Taxpayer services include things like pre-filing assistance and education along with filing and account services. 

A report from the IRS watchdog issued last year found that “IRS officials have not yet finalized what constituted the $400,000 income level or what historic audit level will be used for its metrics. They indicated that this is still being discussed between the IRS and the Treasury Department.” In short, the Biden administration cannot claim the IRS is protecting small businesses and taxpayers from increased audit risk because the IRS can’t even determine what historic audit levels are.