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Fox Business News
August 5, 2022

How Democrats' beefed-up IRS could hurt low-income Americans
By Megan Henney


The Democrats projected that enhancing IRS funding could add an extra $124 billion in federal revenue over the next decade by hiring more tax enforcers who can limit tax evasion by rich individuals and corporations. Roughly $1 trillion in federal taxes goes unpaid yearly because of errors, fraud and a lack of resources to adequately enforce collections, according to an estimate from IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig last year. But GOP lawmakers have sounded the alarm over the proposal, warning that it could have serious ramifications for lower-income workers. That's because the IRS disproportionately targets low-income Americans when it conducts tax audits each year. In fact, households with less than $25,000 in earnings are five times as likely to be audited by the agency than everyone else, according to a recent analysis of tax data from fiscal year 2021 by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. The reason for that is a rise in what is known as "correspondence audits," meaning the IRS conducts reviews of tax returns via letters or phone calls rather than more complex face-to-face audits. Just a fraction 100,000 of the 659,000 audits in 2021 were conducted in person. According to the Syracuse study, more than half of the correspondence audits initiated by the IRS last year 54% involved low-income workers with gross receipts of less than $25,000 who claimed the earned income tax credit, an anti-poverty measure.


Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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