President Joe Biden is finally making a crackdown on tax fraud a priority, but whether he can deliver on his lofty promises to strengthen the Internal Revenue Service is still very much up for debate.
As former IRS Commissioner of the Small Business/Self Employed division and former Chief of IRS Criminal Investigations, we are encouraged by Biden’s $13.2 billion fiscal year 2022 budget request for the IRS. But we can also undoubtedly say that any chance of compressing the tax gap in America will depend on sustained budget increases — not a simple one-time injection of increased funds.
Sustained increases will definitely be needed if the White House wants to hit its promise that increased enforcement and audits will bring in $700 billion in revenue for the government over the next decade.
And reasonable expectations need to be set. The agency will surely demonstrate some successes in year one of a budget increase, but the substantial returns will come in years two, three and four of Biden’s term.
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