The Reality Of Increased IRS Funding
October 20, 2022 | The Insider: White Collar Defense and Securities Enforcement
The Internal Revenue Service’s struggles in the face of limited resources are well-documented. Over the past decade, the IRS’s budget has increased only 9% (from approximately $12.4 billion in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011 to $13.7 billion in fiscal 2021). Over the same period, the agency’s civil and criminal enforcement efforts have been negatively impacted by the number of special agents – who conduct criminal investigations – dropping by 23% (from 2,618 in 2011 to 2,004 in 2021); the number of revenue agents – who handle audits – falling by 40% (from 13,969 to 8,321); and the number of revenue officers – who process collection matters – plummeting by 50% (from 5,621 to 2,783). Moreover, the IRS’s budgetary woes have forced the agency to make do with antiquated technology and undermanned call-centers that result in long wait times for taxpayers seeking guidance on their tax compliance. Given these shortcomings, it is unsurprising that the country faces a substantial “tax gap” between expected revenues and actual collections.