New York Times report slams Republicans for ‘unsubstantiated conspiracy theories’ regarding increased IRS enforcement


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The New York Times was the latest media organization on Friday to defend the massive expansion of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), calling Republican concerns “baseless conspiracy theories.”

Journalists Alan Rappeport and Tiffany Hsu documented what they saw as the rise of conspiracy theories after Republicans warned the Cut Inflation Act would double the IRS’ workforce over the next decade by hiring approximately 87,000 new workers.

Rappeport and Hsu insisted the efforts are primarily aimed at helping “the beleaguered agency” hire new staff to “upgrade outdated technology” and “improve its ability to respond to taxpayers.” They claimed Republicans latched onto this news, “often twisting the facts”, to scare low-income voters into fearing they were being targeted for political gain.

“But Republicans, who have long accused the IRS of unfairly targeting conservatives, have taken to the law to stoke unfounded conspiracy theories about the threat that mom-and-pop shops and middle-class Americans will face from the part of an emboldened tax collector,” they warned.

This photo taken on April 13, 2014 shows the headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in Washington.
(AP Photo/J. David Ake)

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Reporters later admitted that the IRS’ enforcement was indeed planning to expand.

“The IRS is bolstering its staff to keep pace with taxpayer growth and to replace departing employees. The Biden administration expects about 50,000 IRS employees to retire over the next next decade and the agency hires 87,000 new employees, bringing the total size of the agency to about 120,000. The number of enforcement officers is expected to double from 6,500 to about 13,000 over the next decade. the next decade,” they wrote.

The article also acknowledged that the IRS admitted in 2013 to distinguishing between terms such as “Tea Party” and “patriot” when deciding whether a group was tax-exempt. However, they noted that the IRS was also targeting certain progressive groups.

Additionally, FOX Business reported that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has confirmed that taxpayers earning less than $400,000 a year will need to be audited to account for approximately $20 billion in revenue to pay for the IRS expansion.

Biden's Inflation Cut Act will double the IRS' workforce over the next ten years.

Biden’s Inflation Cut Act will double the IRS’ workforce over the next ten years.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images | Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Despite this, Rappeport and Hsu repeated White House talking points that IRS concerns will only focus on wealthy citizens earning more than $400,000.

“The Biden administration has tried to debunk misinformation and allay fears. It insists the revamped IRS will be focused on better customer service and honest taxpayers will have less to fear as audits will be better targeted. on those who evade taxes,” they wrote. “In a memo this week to IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen outlined her top priorities for the agency and reiterated that it must focus on wealthy tax evaders and crack down on corporate tax avoidance.”

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Reporters also quoted John Koskinen, who served as IRS commissioner under former Presidents Obama and Trump, as insisting the agency would not go after honest taxpayers.

“The idea that the IRS is going to show up and audit all kinds of people for fun is [sic] either ignoring reality or simply not knowing how the IRS works,” Koskinen said. “Honest taxpayers, who constitute the vast majority, will not be bothered at all.

Republicans have expressed concerns about the expansion of the IRS over the next decade.

Republicans have expressed concerns about the expansion of the IRS over the next decade.
(Reuters)

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Washington Post Chief Auditor Glenn Kessler also claimed Thursday that the GOP is weaponizing people’s fears of the IRS to intimidate voters. He was attacked on Twitter as an “accomplice” to the Biden administration for his comments.


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