U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, this week led a press conference with Republican members to highlight concerns with a proposal in the Democrats’ tax-and-spend legislation that would nearly double the budget of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with a massive $80 billion boost in funding.  

An increase in funding means an increase in audits for the middle class:  

“What we’ve found from the Joint Committee on Taxation is that the vast majority of those dollars will come from the middle class, the very group that the president and Democrats say will not be targeted.  

“The President continues to pledge that no one making less than $400,000 will see a penny in tax increases, but the JCT shows that of the ‘tax gap’ the IRS dollars would go toward collecting—78-90 percent of that tax gap falls on income below $200,000.   

“The IRS cannot generate the money that the Democrats claim they will from this funding, unless it focuses the target right on the middle class.  That’s what the data shows, and what they don’t want to say.  This supersized IRS will create an army of auditors to come out and go after the tax gap, which lies primarily in income categories under $400,000.” 

CBO score of IRS funding:  

“The Administration claims it will generate $400 billion in revenue from this spending, but the CBO says it’s an $80 billion cost.” 

Bank reporting provision still a concern:  

“We had the IRS battle a few weeks back, and there was this proposal to have the IRS get into the bank accounts of everybody who had over $600 in [inflows and outflows], with a debate over whether they could change that number.  Democrats took that out, but what’s still in? $80 billion in funding for the IRS to conduct new audits and other activities.   

“There’s also $105 million for the IRS to create a new army of regulators so that they can write all the new regulations they need to get into the bank accounts of people that we won’t let them get into legislatively.  This entire bill needs to be stopped and the gimmicks need to be exposed.” 

Past abuses of power and heavy-handed tactics cause for concern:  

“There’s not a problem with having the tax laws enforced in a fair and even-handed manner.  But the IRS has already shown it uses heavy handed tactics.  It also has the ability, under current law, to dig into every detail of individuals’ lives if they decide to audit them.  Because of the extent of that power and record abuse of that power–with most recent abuses focusing on conservative organizations–people understand this is a phenomenal power that is abused, and that’s why there’s such concern.” 

Watch Crapo’s remarks here.  

Watch the full press conference, including Q&A, here.    

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