No one truly loves the Internal Revenue Service, do they? This is the sort of government entity that has existed for far too long without a major overhaul, mutating and sharpening itself to the point in which it is overtly feared by Americans…Americans whose entire nation was predicated and conjured from a disdain for being overtaxed.
Now, in a stunning new shot to their reputation, the IRS has been caught once again harassing lower income Americans at a much more prolific pace than wealthy ones.
On Wednesday, Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) released data provided to it by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on audits performed by the agency in fiscal year 2022. Despite the infusion of new funding earmarked for the IRS via last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, the agency continued historic trends of hassling primarily low-income taxpayers, with relatively few millionaires and billionaires getting caught up in the audit sweep.
“The taxpayer class with unbelievably high audit rates—five and a half times virtually everyone else—were low-income wage-earners taking the earned income tax credit,” reported TRAC, noting that the poorest taxpayers are “easy marks in an era when IRS increasingly relies upon correspondence audits yet doesn’t have the resources to assist taxpayers or answer their questions.”
And it gets worse:
In fact, “if one ignores the fiction of auditing a millionaire through simply sending a letter through the mail, the odds that millionaires received a regular audit by a revenue agent (1.1%) was actually less than the audit rate of the targeted lowest income wage-earners whose audit rate was 1.27 percent!”
The unconscionable slant is precisely the sort of undue targeting and cruelty that inspired us to throw a whole lot of tea into Boston Harbor, and the IRS had better review that lesson in their history books before We The People get a chance to have our say about it.