By Jason Smith
Every April when Americans file their taxes, they’re reminded just how much of their hard-earned money goes straight into Uncle Sam’s pocket. On top of that, they have the added headache of having to worry that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will come after them if they make a mistake when filling out the seemingly endless paperwork. And thanks to Washington Democrats voting to give the IRS an $80 billion funding increase in their Inflation Act, the agency now has the resources it needs to hire 87,000 new agents to target and harass more middle- and lower-income Americans.
Earlier this month, the IRS finally released its plan for how it will spend that $80 billion. It’s bad news for working-class families. A simple, conservative analysis shows that the policy will result in 1.2 million new audits per year with nearly 650,000 of those new audits falling on taxpayers making $75,000 or less. That’s absolutely unacceptable.
But an avalanche of new audits isn’t the only thing Americans have to worry about when it comes to taxes and the IRS. President Joe Biden has promised he wouldn’t raise taxes on Americans making under $400,000, but the facts paint a much different picture. At a recent Ways and Means Committee hearing, I asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to provide legislative text that would show how working-class families and small businesses would be protected from Biden’s $4.7 trillion tax hike proposal that was included in his budget for next year. Yellen declined to commit to doing so.
As the IRS struggles to process the billions of tax returns it currently receives, there’s significant concern that it will be unprepared to implement Washington Democrats’ new invasive scheme to track Americans’ personal online financial transactions. Prior to Washington Democrats’ so-called American Rescue Plan, platforms like Venmo, Paypal, and others were required to report a person’s transactions to the IRS if, over the course of the year, the user had more than 200 commercial transactions and made more than $20,000 in payments. Now, if a user’s payments total more than just $600 it will trigger the issuance of a 1099-K report filing with the IRS — a form used by the agency to track business or trade payments and dealings. The IRS has no business going after Americans who sell things like an old couch or concert tickets on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
Americans don’t need a more burdensome tax code or a more aggressive IRS – they actually need the opposite. When Republicans were in charge, under President Donald Trump’s leadership, I was proud to help author the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, one of the largest middle- and low-income tax cuts in American history. The results speak for themselves: we helped deliver lower taxes, bigger paychecks, more jobs, and more investment here in America. The Ways and Means Committee, which I chair, is holding hearings around the country to give working-class Americans the opportunity to shape the policies we need to fix Biden’s broken economy and get our nation back on track.
Families have lost $10,000 to Biden’s cost-of-living crisis. The last thing they need is an avalanche of new audits, $4.7 trillion in new taxes, and a supercharged IRS monitoring their online transactions. As Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy, I’ll continue fighting tooth and nail to keep the IRS off the backs of hardworking families who are just trying to make ends meet in a painful economy.
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