Tell the House: Don’t Defund the IRS!

The new Congress is barely in session and House Republicans already are moving to defund the IRS.

When President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law last year, it included $80 billion in much needed funding to the IRS. Almost immediately, Republicans and right-wing activists began spreading outright lies and conspiracy theories about armed IRS agents coming to raid the homes of middle-class taxpayers.

While over half of the allotted $80 billion will go towards enforcement, it’s specifically dedicated to go after ultra-rich criminal tax evaders who under-report their income by an estimated $600 billion per year. Both Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig have stated that audits on small businesses, or any household earning less than $400,000 per year, will not increase.

But none of this matters to House Republicans. All they care about is consolidating their power and protecting the ultra-wealthy donors who help get them elected.

Paying taxes is a civic duty and a benefit to societal health. Almost all ordinary Americans pay the taxes they owe every year. Why should wealthy criminal tax evaders be protected? Defunding the IRS will not make things better for the average taxpayer. In fact, it will increase processing times, delay refunds, and make it much more difficult to contact the IRS with questions about your tax bill or return.

All it will do is help rich criminals avoid paying what they rightfully owe. But that’s the point. The Right’s entire ideology is built on the idea that rich people shouldn’t have to pay taxes, and that apparently justifies making it easier for wealthy tax evaders to break the law.

The Republican Caucus is in complete disarray. We must use this time to put pressure on members of Congress and urge them to vote this legislation down.