“For the individual income tax, reporting compliance is far higher when income items are subject to information reporting and even higher when also subject to withholding,” the IRS report stated.
Over the past decade, Republicans succeeded in cutting the size of the IRS enforcement division, making it more difficult to collect unpaid taxes.
At the same time, various plans proposed in Congress to trigger more income reporting have run into routine opposition from the GOP and business groups, as critics often characterize it as an ‘invasion of privacy.’
Just this past week, U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-West Point, warned the Biden Administration against making any plans to monitor bank transactions as a way to detect possible tax evasion.
“We remain strongly opposed to any effort to impose a bank surveillance scheme,” Ferguson wrote in a letter to the Treasury Secretary.
House Republicans say if they win control of Congress, one of their first moves will be to repeal funding approved earlier this year that would allow the IRS to hire 87,000 new employees over the next decade.
The goal of that new IRS funding is not only to increase the amount of money collected in overdue taxes but also to improve customer service, by making it easier for Americans to call in for tax return answers.
But for Republicans, that’s clearly not one of their priorities, as they darkly warn of IRS agents auditing millions of workers.
“What’s more important — funding the IRS or funding border patrol?” asked U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler.
That line certainly sounds good to a lot of voters.
On the other hand, just think of how many new border patrol agents could be hired each year — if Americans just didn’t cheat on their taxes.
Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and Congress from Washington, D.C. since the Reagan administration. His column appears weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com