Wyden: Bill addresses new IRS audits, enforcement

By U.S. Senator Ron Wyden,
Press Release

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Senate colleagues urged federal officials to focus new enforcement funds on reducing tax avoidance by large corporations and the wealthy — while expressing strong support for the IRS not to raise audit rates for small businesses or households making less than $400,000 annually.

“We… understand that the administration is still working on the operational plan regarding implementation of the new [Inflation Reduction Act] funding and Secretary Yellen’s directive. We ask that this plan, when finalized, continue to reflect and elaborate on your stated focus on protecting taxpayer rights and increasing enforcement for high-income individuals and large corporations,” Wyden and colleagues wrote to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

In response to increased funding for the IRS in the Inflation Reduction Act, Secretary Yellen directed that any additional resources—including any new personnel or auditors that are hired—shall not be used to increase the share of small business or households below the $400,000 threshold. Small businesses or households earning $400,000 per year or less will not see an increase in the chances that they are audited. Instead, enforcement resources will focus on high-end noncompliance.

In the letter, the senators expressed support for Secretary Yellen’s directive and asked the IRS to focus on protecting taxpayer rights and increasing enforcement for high-income individuals and large corporations. They urged the IRS to use the new funding to support tax fairness and close the tax gap caused by tax avoidance from the wealthy and large corporations, protect the rights of lower-income taxpayers and swiftly improve taxpayer customer service and information technology.

The letter was led by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Angus King, I-Maine. Alongside Wyden, the letter was joined by U.S. Senators Ed Markey, D-Mass., Chris Coons, D-Del., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Tom Carper, D-Del., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Patty Murray, D-Wash.

The text of the letter is here.

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