Tell Congress: Give the IRS the resources it needs to serve taxpayers and catch wealthy tax cheats!

U.S. Congress

As tax filing season begins, the IRS is warning that it is seriously understaffed and under-resourced. Due to decades of disinvestment by congressional Republicans, the IRS has been unable to hold wealthy tax cheats accountable resulting in billions of dollars of unpaid taxes. Now that disinvestment will also result in delays in refunds to millions of U.S. workers.

A better funded IRS is the answer to both problems.

While law-abiding taxpayers struggle to get their questions answered by overworked IRS staff and wait longer for their well-earned refunds, the nation’s wealthiest households skip out on their tax obligations with seeming impunity. The U.S. lost $600 billion in revenue to tax evasion and noncompliance in 2019―roughly 15% of taxes owed. It will total $7 trillion over the next decade if we don’t stop it.

The richest 10% are responsible for three-fifths of unpaid taxes. The richest 1% evade $163 billion a year in taxes they owe.

The IRS just doesn’t have the resources to do its job. It has fewer employees today than any time since the 1970s, even though the U.S. population has grown by about 100 million since then. That’s why you can’t get your phone calls answered or your refunds on time.

But the rich actually benefit from a threadbare IRS budget. Since 2010, audit rates of the richest 1% and large profitable corporations have fallen like a stone, as Republicans in Congress cut IRS funding for investigations, examinations and collections. In fact, the IRS lost nearly one-third of its enforcement employees between 2010 and 2018, or 14,000 workers.

As a result, the audit rate for taxpayers with income over $1 million was down 81% in 2019 compared with 2011. The audit rate for the largest corporations has dropped by half.

The IRS needs more money in its annual budget, being considered in Congress right now, to achieve better customer service for ordinary taxpayers, more on-time refunds, and less tax cheating by the rich.

The payoffs are big: President Biden has proposed an $80 billion 10-year funding boost for the IRS as part of his Build Back Better plan. It would net $400 billion in new revenue, mostly from the rich and corporations, to create jobs and help families afford healthcare, childcare, education, housing and to combat climate change.

Sign the petition to Congress to demand more IRS funding to increase on-time refunds and customer services while reducing tax cheating by billionaires and big corporations.

To: U.S. Congress
From: [Your Name]

It’s time to give the IRS the resources it needs to do two important jobs: effectively serve law-abiding taxpayers and stop tax cheating by billionaires and big corporations. The IRS warns that refunds will be delayed and taxpayer questions will go unanswered, as the agency struggles with its lowest workforce in over 40 years. Meanwhile, the U.S. lost $600 billion in revenue to tax evasion and noncompliance in 2019—most of those unpaid taxes were owed by the wealthy and corporations. The answer to both problems—poor customer service for working families and lax enforcement against the rich—is a bigger budget for the IRS. Congress must provide the $80 billion in the Build Back Better plan the IRS needs to do its job.