Treasury Dept. Claims Majority Of 87,000 New Hires Will Provide ‘Customer Service,’ Raising Questions

Treasury Dept. Claims Majority Of 87,000 New Hires Will Provide ‘Customer Service,’ Raising Questions

The Treasury Department has some raising questions after it said that a sizable portion of the money allocated in the Inflation Reduction Act will go toward improving taxpayer services.

That claim was reinforced by the fact-checking organization, FactCheck.org which wrote, “most new hires will provide customer services.”

“The majority of hires made with these resources fill positions of the 50,000 IRS employees who are on the verge of retirement. Of the net new hires, the majority are hired to improve customer services – from upgrading IT to answering phone calls,” a Treasury Department spokesperson said.

But Matt Welch of Reason points out that the claim that most of the new hires would be devoted to “customer service” is hard to swallow, as the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reveals the $80 billion for additional IRS funding is allotted variously to $45.6 billion for “enforcement activities,” $25.3 billion for “operations support,” $4.8 billion for “business systems modernization” and only $3.2 billion to improve “taxpayer services.”

“The Treasury Department spokesperson would have us believe that 50.01 percent of newly created positions funded by this $80 billion injection will work in the divisions receiving just 10 percent of the money,” Welch wrote. “That is just not credible, let alone a credible basis for debunking someone else’s fact.”

In an August 10 letter, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote to Charles P. Rettig, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, she took a shot at GOP opponents, claiming:

Specifically, I direct 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 that are audited relative to historical levels. This means that, contrary to the misinformation from opponents of this legislation, small business or households earning $400,000 per year or less will not see an increase in the chances that they are audited.

“For regular taxpayers, as you emphasized last week, the result of this resource infusion will be a lower likelihood of audit by an agency that has the data and technological infrastructure in place to target enforcement resources where they belong—on the high end of the income distribution, where the top 1% alone is estimated to not be paying $160 billion in owed taxes each year,” she continued.

But as Ben Zeisloft of The Daily Wire noted, “A report from the Government Accountability Office shows that audit rates for Americans earning between $25,000 to $200,000 fell 76% between 2010 and 2019, while those earning less than $25,000 saw audit rates fall by 61% — implying that there is plenty of room within ‘historical levels’ to dramatically hike the number of audits.”

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