Congress Adds 87,000 new IRS Agents to Pursue $204 Billion in Tax Fraud While 500 IG Agents Struggle to Investigate $160 Billion in Covid Fraud?

The addition of 87,000 new IRS agents has been celebrated by many as a way to capture billions in revenue to pay for the new bill on climate change and other programs. The claim is that increasing audits of people making over $400,000 will capture additional billions in revenue. That math has been challenged as wildly overestimated unless these new agents turn (as expected) to middle income taxpayers. The respected Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has also directly contradicted claims made by President Biden and the sponsors on increasing the tax burden for middle income families. What is interesting, however, are reports that the government believes that as much as $160 billion in Covid relief fraud exists and the government does not have the personnel or ability to recover most of those funds (or to prosecute most of the culprits).  A fraction of those 87,000 new IRS agents would transform this effort, but documenting and prosecuting Covid relief fraud does not seem as much of a priority in Washington.Years ago, I debated one of the top advisers to Sen. Elizabeth Warren on her tax proposals, including a wealth tax. In the middle of the debate, the professor revealed that Warren and the Democrats wanted to radically increase the IRS to pursue wealthy Americans for more tax revenue through extensive audits. He spoke of adding billions in new money and thousands of new agents.  It was another sweeping claim that the wealthy were not paying enough and that there was a virtually limitless amount of money to pay for new programs.They have now made good on that pledge with an $80 billion increase in the IRS budget — an increase that also must pay for itself in addition to covering the cost of new programs.

Many have noted that the numbers do not add up. While Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sent a letter ordering that the new agents should not be used to audit people making less than 400k, it is hard to see where the required $204 billion will come from. Some estimates suggest that an increase of 30 times in such audits would still fall short of the $35.3 billion sought in 2031.

However, there is as much as $160 billion in alleged fraud of Covid checks. The government simply sent out billions with little review or confirmation during the pandemic. Now, the New York Times reports that a relatively small number of investigators is overwhelmed by the numbers and unlikely to pursue most of this money: “There are currently 500 people working on pandemic-fraud cases across the offices of 21 inspectors general, plus investigators from the F.B.I., the Secret Service, the Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service.”

The problem is that pursuing such fraud is also an indictment of Congress and the executive agencies, which tossed aside controls in the rush to get money out the door during the pandemic. Moreover, much of the fraud is not being committed by the “wealthy” class — the favorite target of leaders like Warren. It is more difficult to prosecute these individuals and attempt to recoup property.

It is also inconsistent with the focus of these politicians on the most wealthy as tax cheats and scofflaws. They have been presented as a bottomless pit of money — making any spending bill “free.” When President Joe Biden struggled to get the massive new spending bill through Congress in 2021, he turned to a pitch that would make Joe Isuzu blush: “We talk about price tags. It is zero price tag” and “My Build Back Better agenda costs zero dollars.” The trillions in spending is “free” — according to Biden — because others will pay for it. It’s like claiming your college tuition was free because your parents got the bill.

Biden is hardly the first politician to shrug off spending by saying “the rich will pay for it.” Indeed, during the Democratic primary, the candidates lined up behind figures like New York Mayor Bill De Blasio declaring “we will tax the hell out of the wealthy.”

Pursuing Covid relief fraud would not exactly fit the “eat the rich” theme that is so popular today. It would also highlight their own failure in ignoring objections at the time that there were few protections in place to shield against fraud. So the solution is simple. Add 87,000 to target wealthy Americans to seek $204 billion to pay for this bill while leaving 500 IG employees working with other agencies to pursue $160 billion in Covid fraud.  In Washington, this makes absolute sense.


187 thoughts on “Congress Adds 87,000 new IRS Agents to Pursue $204 Billion in Tax Fraud While 500 IG Agents Struggle to Investigate $160 Billion in Covid Fraud?”

    1. I received a call today from someone who said that they could get me $26,000 for every employee I had. I get at least one call like this every week.

      I’ve been retired for a few years. Something’s wrong if they’re still trying to give away money.

  1. biden say it is about compliance. I use a preparer that uses tax software. Is the preparer right? Is the software right? I hope so. I sure have a better chance of being audited, and despite not doing anything intentionally wrong, I am not positive I would be in the clear.

    I have relatively simple taxes, nothing like the complexity faced by a business owner – I would not want to face the IRS as an honest business owner.

    Now ask yourself, could the same goal of tax compliance be achieved with tax simplification and the same number of agents? I say yes. So what is the goal here? The same bill made the tax code even more complex with more credits, taxes, and minimum taxes.

    1. Perhaps this a Tax Preparers Relief Act. Force all taxpayers to use tax professionals for tax preparation.

    2. Yellen is lying in her letter if she ordered that “new agents” should not be used to audit people making less than $400K. New agents are always taught in “phases” of learning. They start with 1040s and only up to a certain TI (taxable income) amount – – – no returns over TI of $50-$75,000 thereabouts. That training phase will last a couple of years and then the next training phases move up to small corporations, LLCs and small partnerships. The whole “training phase” can take up to 6-8 years and 95% of those cases are with taxpayers with TI of well under $400,000. The wealthier or “High Income” tax returns are assigned to agents who are “able to handle the complexities” of those larger income returns and then only a handful of agents can perform audits on those. BBA procedures for certain partnerships and corporations are way above a new agent’s capabilities of handling. You can just always count on the fact that if a Democrats lips are moving they are lying. Note: There are two kinds of agents: civil and criminal. The majority of these new hires will be civil – – they don’t carry firearms which begs the question even more – – why does IRS need 5,000,000 rounds?

      1. “Yellen is lying . . .”

        That is the same Yellen who deceived the nation, first by asserting that inflation didn’t exist (when in fact it did), then asserted that inflation is “transitory” (which it wasn’t).

        Why do some continue to believe those whose premise is: My desires are reality?

  2. Our government doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.

    …and a BIG ONE!

  3. Biden will be known as the president that pushed the US into civil war. He will be the most hated and reviled and, perhaps, the last president of the United States.

  4. “It is zero price tag.” (Biden, and the rest of the pathological liars)

    Tell that to the individuals, companies, and consumers (i.e., everyone) whose money is looted by the government.

    Years ago, there was a “luxury tax” (e.g., on boats, planes, jewelry) just to “soak the rich.” As was predictable, that tax soaked everyone — from the salesman selling those goods to the *middle class* making and servicing them, to the clerical staff and cleaning crews at those businesses. Who else got soaked? — those in the middle class who transported those products, and everyone who provided products and services to those industries.

    Just as you cannot hermetically seal inflation, you cannot do so for a tax — any tax.

  5. A giant bill authorizing funds we don’t have and based totally on a lie, and the president of the US swears to us it will cost zero. We aren’t headed for third world status; we are a third world country with a government like this one. Just want to remind everyone what eventually happens to third world governments and dictators once the people have had enough. Anyone need a hint?

  6. Shortly after Biden signed the misnamed anti-inflation bill into law Dems began calling the new law by its name: Climate Change. Dems are so captured by the progressive (Marxist) ideology they view dissent as heresy, questions are blasphemy, non-compliace is cause for punishment, and opposition as treason. Giving a radical and strange cult more power, increased authority, more personnel, deadly weapons, and a nearly unlimited supply of (increasingly worth-less) money is beyond foolish – the scheme will surely usher in an era of authoritarianism this country has never experienced. Leftists, are useless idiots.

    1. Can’t wait to find out what climate justice is going to turn into.

      1. “Can’t wait to find out what climate justice is going to turn into.”

        Redistribution of income from the “oppressors” to the “oppressed” — a Marxist scheme that is actually in the bill.

  7. It adds up, they want to hire THEIR POLICE so they can train them to be Brown Shirt thugs. They want to come after Mr. and Mrs. Conservative in the same way they have VIOLATED Trumps Constitution rights and you boot legs liberals have said nothing. Mr. Turley, no matter what you say sir, as long as your pretend they did not steal the Election, (when you know DAMNED WELL THEY DID) then I do not respect anything you say. You are way too intelligent, either you are scared of them, or with them. But you do nit believe Biden win that election. So, we are living in tyranny, and you have not called it out as such.

    1. A “key requirement” for applicants on last week’s IRS job posting is that they have to be “legally allowed to carry a firearm,” and “major duties” include “Carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary” and “Be willing and able to participate in arrests, execution of search warrants, and other dangerous assignments”

      Looks like they are militarizing the IRS to get around the Posse Comitatus Act.

      1. John Whitehead, I believe, warned about this problem years ago. Lots of militarization in other departments, too. 🙁

    2. When a Democrat – of Russian Hoax, Mueller Investigation Hoax. Ukraine Impeachment Hoax, China Virus Hoax. Lock-downs Hoaxes, J6 Hoax. and the Gretchen Whitmer Kidnapping Hoax fame, asks why anyone needs an AK-47, an AR-15, or even an Uzi, tell them you need it because the IRS has them.

      Since Biden’s Democrats cannot yet count on the American military rank and file to enforce unconstitutional EO’s, edicts, procedures, or policies, they wil surely turn to the millions of men of military age who’ve flowed into the United States, from all over the world, through the wide-open southern border to actually use “lethal force” to enforce tax law.

      These men are strangers, they are mostly illiterate, uneducated, and unvetted foreigners, men of military age, who will be pressed into service at the behest of a corrupt and despotic regime who is desperate to cling to power.

  8. The lies from this administration are simply beyond the pale. Never seen anything like it in my lifetime in this country. I do not know how we turn it around when dem talking heads are now calling ordinary elections (due to Cheney getting absolutely slaughtered in a free and fair election) ‘a threat to democracy’ and a ‘Soviet skill’. The irresponsibility in such statements is breathtaking. How can any sane person continue to support this? I’m actually serious. We are on the precipice and the dems put us there, whole hog.

    1. So, the last administration with more documented lies than any other in history apparently didn’t take place during your lifetime?
      We are indeed on the precipice, and the former guy and people like you put us there.

      1. What kind of crack are you smoking? Documented lies by who’s standards exactly? MSNBC, CNN, Adam Schiff or who exactly? Was The Russia dossier real? What about Hunter’s laptop?

      2. The top award for most lies for an administration would be a tie between Obozo and Bidum!

      3. The “documented lies” of the last administration are claims by documented liars.

        Most people are able to ascertain reality with their mark I eyeballs.

      4. milordcutter – what documented lies from the last administration?? ..all of the nonsense that came from the talking heads is ‘documentation’ of their own lies.. just like the one-sided J6 Kangaroo Court which presented things out of context to create lies..or.. take the Steele Dossier-Russia Collusion_Mueller Investigation that was all a big multi year HOAX. with constant lies told to the American people.. or take Dr. Fauci and the lies re: the start of COVID and all the secret funding sent to China (before the last administration..) to help subsidize it.. more lies told to the American people… on and on………

      5. Oh, good grief. Both of you. The powerful have been pitting the “teams” against each other for years and years, turning the dial up slowly, helping nurture the building rancor. To excellent effect, I might add. We direct our ire at one another rather than towards those who manipulate government for themselves.

        We the people will be captured crawdads if we do not stop the finger-pointing at each other.

  9. Biden’s “Reign of Terror”

    is developing into an exact copy of

    Lincoln’s “Reign of Terror.”

    Where is the judicial branch when America needs it.

  10. One must judge a movement, religion, or ideology by its fruit, and people by their actions.

    People making less than $20,000 are 5 times more likely to be audited than the wealthy, who can afford tax attorneys to ensure they follow Byzantine tax law.

    Republicans proposed an amendment to this bill, that would have precluded the expanded IRS force from auditing those who make less than $400,000. Every single Democrat voted against it.

    We are facing spiraling cost of living, out of control crime, unaffordable gas and energy costs, and people have to decide whether to buy expensive groceries or keep the lights and A/C on. The world is more unstable, where Russia has invaded Ukraine, China is threatening to invade Taiwan, and an American author was brutally stabbed by a terrorist on American soil for insulting Islam. We have an effectively open border, with over 2 million illegal border crossings in a year. Sending just a few thousand of these to Democrat-run sanctuary cities for them to do their fair share, led to cries of the inhumanity and unfairness of it all, and calls for the National Guard. Joe Biden and the Democrats in power chose to focus their efforts on creating an armed force that would squeeze more money out of the citizenry.

    Joe Biden’s new nickname is the Sheriff of Nottingham.

    Robin Hood represents tax cuts, giving the people their own money back.

    1. Virtually everything you said was parrotted directly from alt-right media, and is mostly lies. You want to judge a movement by its fruit? How about your hero? A serial cheater on his wives. Six times bankrupted businesses. Trashed a successful economy by enacting tariffs and by mishandling a pandemic, resulting in unemployment above 10%, the country mostly shut down for about 2 years, school kids behind, factories and businesses closed down. Biden turned around the worst recession since the Great Depression, but there was a cost–inflation, which is a worldwide phenomenon, and inflation always happens after an economic recovery. The world is NOT unstable, Russia invaded Ukraine because Putin thought Trump had so alienated the US allies and NATO that they couldn’t help Ukraine mount an effective resistance. China has been threatening to invade Taiwan for years, and illegals have been crossing the borders for years, mostly to get jobs in Republican-owned hotels, restaurants, landscaping, housekeeping and nanny services. Now, we found out that your hero stole TS/SCI documents, played games with returning some of them, had his lawyer swear all of them were returned, which they weren’t, and it’s because he claimed “they aren’t theirs–they’re mine”. After playing games for about a year and half and refusing to return the documents, he left the DOJ with no choice other than to get a search warrant, then leveraged that into about a million dollars (so far) of donations he solicited from his fans over the “outrage” of the FBI “invading my beautiful home”. He lied repeatedly by saying that “all they had to do was ask”. The NARA HAS been asking–for over a year, and all they got volunarily was a handful of papers. Then, there was a subpoena that yielded 15 boxes. A tipster told the FBI that Trump had way more than that, despite an affidavit swearing all had been returned. So, Trump forces them to get a search warrant and then leverages that into a million dollar payday and “outrage” against the “deep state”. Because he is not a declared candidate, that money can be spent however he wants. He’s already spent some of these contributions on designer clothes for Melania, which is not illegal, and that’s why he hasn’t declared his candidacy. Federal law regulates how money solicited for a campaign must be spent. And, disciples like you don’t see the truth. Trump is once more a victim.

      The wealthy have been getting away without paying their fair share of taxes, helped by Trump who cut funding to the IRS which limited the number of audits they could do. I know you’ve been watching Fox because I saw all of the outrageous lies they’ve been telling about the IRS going after middle class citizens and small business owners, with loaded AR 15s.

      The US is much better off than 2 years ago: schools, businesses and factories are open, people are going on vacation, they’re fixing up their homes, buying things, but the supply chain is still behind thanks to Trump and his stupid tariffs. That has resulted in shortages of some consumer goods, which results in higher prices. Biden has passed the Chips Act to boost domestic computer chip production, relief for veterans who were sickened by burn pits, an historic infrastructure bill that will create thousands of good-paying jobs, an historic bill to address climate change and a minimum 15% tax on corporations making a billion or more a year in income. Biden is paying down the national debt that rose to historic levels under Trump. Yet, all you do is complain about Biden and Democrats.

      1. Natacha,

        I guess you’ve seen the major polls of American Hating Trash of Biden’s/Dims, that their recent numbers are as low as between 8%-12%, even among most Hispanic!!! LOL;)

        Down at the Troll Office Today, were the a lot of Trolls crying as CNN walked out the Evil Clown Brian Stelter carrying his stuff in an empty Ukrainian Vodka box full of personal stuff out?

        Seems all the Dims/Rino’s Russia, Russia, Russia stuff & their 2020 Massive Voter Fraud, etc. stuff isn’t selling this year.


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        The shallow husk that is CNN has finally figured out that they must rid themselves of the demons within. Brian Stelter has just had his show cancelled and his days of being a Democrat mouth piece are numbered.

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  11. As a CPA, some years ago, tax work was the heart of my business. Now, we occasionally had people come in who wanted to push the boundaries, but really, there is no widespread fraud on a level that could total 200 billion today. Not even close. 94.3% of returns are filed electronically — and while there could be mistakes, that is NOT tax fraud. In fact, fraud has never been a large component of uncollected taxes — in a typical year between 2000 and 3000 taxpayers are sentenced for fraud, and it has been that way for years.

    If you want to understand the problems of IRS, it is poor management and lousy relics of IT systems. We would do far better to spend the money on getting a total redevelopment of these IT systems than to hire another persistent payroll drain on the treasury.

    One other thing. How about we fire the people who left at covid and never came back. But are still drawing paychecks?

    1. Good comment Stack Pointer.

      If you want to understand the problems of IRS, it is poor management and lousy relics of IT systems. We would do far better to spend the money on getting a total redevelopment of these IT systems than to hire another persistent payroll drain on the treasury.

      I am a tax professional myself and the IRS infrastructure is horribly inefficient. The wait times on hold can easily run 1 to 2 hours. It’s obvious no one is working on that problem as the hold music hasn’t changed in years. 😏

      If they were looking for fraud, they should begin with the PPP and ERC slush funds.

    2. stack pointer:

      Good points. I would add that the tax code could do with some streamlining.

      A relative was audited when he was in college. While speaking with an IRS agent, he said another one came in who disagreed. As they debated amongst themselves, he asked, “How can I be expected to follow the tax law if the IRS can’t agree what that entails?”

    3. BTW, disregard the Anonymous that is routinely shocked and dismayed to find he has one more contributor’s comments that will not make any sense to him. He was raised eating paint chips.

  12. OT: Clinton flak James Carville just said that 2/3 of Trump supporters are stupid, evil racists. Oh that’s the way to win an election. Insult the voters. The ancient Greeks were right: Quem Iuppiter vult perdere, dementat prius. (“Those whom Jupiter wishes to destroy, he first makes crazy”).

      1. DBB:
        Keen grasp of the obvious, but it was a Greek saying preserved by the Romans.

  13. The Democrats must be using their phony “woke” math — or they’re just lying, which wouldn’t surprise anyone. This party has really gone downhill.

  14. Millions in PPP loans to companies linked to Pelosi’s husband, a Kardashian, other celebs forgiven

    So, was the hurried rush to pass the PPP with what appears is no accountability by design?
    Or a real “. . . uh, we didnt think that through.”

    I seem to recall Rand Paul who wanted some kind of accountability in the spending/military supplies to the Ukraine and was shouted down as a traitor.
    Then a CBS report comes out about how only 30% of weapons/supplies made it to the actual war fighters on the Ukraine front. It was walked back as someone then claimed they had put those safe guards in place.
    Something tells me they are not as robust as they should be, having seen first hand similar actions in Afghanistan.

    1. Upstate Farmer:

      Just like they had to pass Obamacare to learn what’s in it, they had to pass Covid Relief to learn its design was a perfect inducement for fraud.

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