WASHINGTON (TND) — As one of their first orders of business as the majority party, House Republicans are poised to vote on legislation to repeal nearly all funding for the Internal Revenue Service included in last year's Inflation Reduction Act.
In a description of Republicans' Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act, the House Ways and Means Committee claimed the $80 billion would be used to send "87,000 new IRS agents to go after families and small businesses."
"Americans deserve a government that’s accountable and one that works FOR them, not AGAINST them," the committee wrote.
This funding was designed to be spent over a decade, much of which will be used to replace retiring personnel. The White House's objective is to give the IRS resources to collect owed taxes that go unpaid, also known as the "tax gap," and lower the deficit.
The rate of IRS audits on millionaires has dramatically declined since 2010 because of budget and staffing cuts pushed by Republicans, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
"House Republicans now want to repeal that and let some super-wealthy people pay less in taxes than many hard-working Americans — including through outright tax fraud — which would increase the deficit and worsen inflation," the White House said in a release Monday.
According to the most recent IRS data available, the tax gap between 2014 and 2016 was estimated at $428 billion.
Despite Republican claims of the creation of an "army" of agents, the funds would go toward staff in all departments like those who process returns, program computers and audit returns.
"The last time the IRS had fewer revenue agents than it has today was in 1953. Today’s economy is seven times larger than it was in 1953 and our population has more than doubled since then. Today’s tax returns of wealthy people and large multinationals are more complex and global, which take more time for auditors to review," Chuck Marr, vice president for federal tax policy at CBPP wrote in a blog post.
Legislation to repeal IRS funding is expected to fail in the Senate, where Democrats now hold a 51-49 majority.