MADISON — President Joe Biden’s costly Build Back Better plan calls for hiring 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service agents to badger taxpayers, even as the tax collector has yet to process millions of tax returns.
U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) and nearly 100 of his congressional colleagues want answers.
“This massive backlog is causing significant and unnecessary burdens for families and small businesses who can’t get answers from the IRS about why their returns have not been processed. The IRS is in danger of falling into a vicious backlog cycle that will harm millions of taxpayers,” wrote Republican leadership and member of the Ways and Means Committee in a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.
For the 2021 filing season, there are more than 9.6 million unprocessed paper returns, and an additional 5 million paper and electronic returns suspended during processing, according to data provided to Congress by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Among those 5 million returns includes returns from the 2020 filing season, however, TIGTA is unable to categorize returns in suspension by tax year.
Grothman tells Wisconsin Spotlight his office has heard from scores of constituents who have yet to receive their refunds. Grothman says the IRS has been slowed by the federal governments strict COVID mitigation mandates.
“As the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prepares for the 2022 tax filing season, we write with great concern regarding the backlog of unprocessed returns from the current 2021 and 2020 filing seasons. Our concern is underscored by the frequent outreach we are receiving from our constituents about the processing delays and inadequate taxpayer assistance associated with the backlog,” the letter states.
Meanwhile, Biden is bolstering his army of auditors, which critics say promises the scary return of the IRS’ illegal targeting of conservative groups and individuals.
“The administration is largely weaponizing the IRS in its hiring 87,000 agents,” Grothman said. “Imagine the number of citizens going to be audited now, “
Despite a voluntary compliance rate of more than 80 percent, the Biden administration is pushing for provisions that would require financial institutions to transmit their customers’ private, sensitive data to the IRS.
“Given the feedback we are receiving from our constituents, it’s clear that too little attention is focused on the first aspect of the IRS’s stated mission: to ‘provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities,’” the lawmakers’ letter states.
There’s a more lucrative equation in play for the political machinery, and it could make a sizeable impact on the elections ahead.
“This massive influx of IRS agents would lead to a surge in union dues paid to the left-wing National Treasury Employees Union, which collects dues from roughly 70,000 current IRS employees. 97 percent of the union’s political spending goes to Democrats,” asserts Americans for Tax Reform.