IRS conducts ‘comprehensive review of existing safety and security measures’ amid threats to employees

The Internal Revenue Service said it was conducting a comprehensive review of its security systems amid recent threats against IRS employees.

Some of the rhetoric comes after numerous Republican lawmakers and media personalities claimed, without evidence, that the $78 billion sent to the IRS over 10 years under the Inflation Reduction Act helps to hire more agents to audit the middle class.

“This includes conducting risk assessments based on data-driven decisions given the current environment and monitoring perimeter security, designations of restricted areas, exterior lighting, security around entrances of our facilities and other miscellaneous protections,” IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig wrote to employees and obtained by ABC News.

“We are also monitoring threat intelligence and have increased our engagement with TIGTA, the Department of Homeland Security and local law enforcement officials, so we are ready to implement additional countermeasures and notifications. to employees if circumstances warrant,” Rettig wrote.

The commissioner said it was personal.

“I will continue to do everything possible to dispel any lingering misconceptions about our work. And I will continue to advocate for your safety in all places where I have an audience,” he said. “You go above and beyond every day, and I’m honored to work with each of you.”

There has been much debate about an increase in the number of IRS agents.

A sign pointing to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building is seen in Washington, September 28, 2020.

Erin Scott/Reuters, FILE

The Internal Revenue Service does not plan to use the nearly $80 billion it is expected to receive in funding from the Cut Inflation Act to hire 87,000 new officers to target middle-class Americans , a Treasury Department official told ABC News last week and documents verify, dismissing a claim widely circulated by Republican lawmakers and right-wing media figures.

In a letter to Rettig, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the agency plans to hire auditors who can enforce tax laws against high-income Americans and corporations, not the middle class, as well. as employees to provide customer service to taxpayers. The majority of hires will fill the positions of about 50,000 IRS employees on the brink of retirement, bringing in about 20,000 to 30,000 workers, not 87,000.

“New staff will be hired to improve taxpayer services and experienced auditors capable of tackling corporate and high-end tax evaders, without increasing audit rates from historical standards for people earning less than $400,000 a year,” Treasury Department spokeswoman Julia Krieger said. statement last week.

The billions earmarked for the IRS are part of the Cut Inflation Act signed into law by President Joe Biden earlier this month.

ABC News

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