Hundreds of millions of dollars or more in taxes are not collected each year. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said it could add up to $ 1,000 billion a year.
Still, most Republicans formed their comments and questions on this week’s ProPublica media report detailing the lack of income tax payments by the 25 richest people in the United States.
Ongoing investigations: No source of information has been publicly identified and official investigations have started.
The IRS Inspector General was briefed as soon as Rettig learned of the report Tuesday morning.
Republicans have singled out the IRS.
“Someone at the IRS apparently leaked publications,” said Representative Tom Rice (RS.C.).
ProPublica said it did not know the source of the information, did not ask for it and “considered the possibility” that it “may have come from a state actor hostile to US interests.”
Smucker said the issue was having a devastating impact on taxpayer confidence, a sentiment widely shared on his side of the aisle. That doesn’t bode well for Biden’s plan for increased IRS funding and bank information reporting, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) said.
“It’s a tough sale, I have to tell you, right now,” he said.
However, many Republicans are unlikely to support Biden’s plan in any event.
Treasure hunt: Biden’s plan to strengthen IRS enforcement includes a provision for banks to provide the agency with annual inflows and outflows of account holders.
The idea is to increase visibility on the wealthiest taxpayers who often have opaque property and partnership income streams. There is a “tendency” to underreport taxes by those higher up the income scale, said Mark Mazur, deputy assistant secretary of the treasury for tax policy, who testified at the hearing.
Biden also launched some $ 80 billion in additional funding for the IRS, which would be used to increase staff and modernize the agency’s outdated computer systems.
“We have struggled to keep pace with the change,” said Doug O’Donnell, IRS Deputy Commissioner of Services and Enforcement, who also testified.
Republicans have repeatedly stated that they share Democrats’ concerns about closing the tax gap. But they have also repeatedly warned against strengthening the powers of the IRS.
“I think we have to be very careful,” said Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.).