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CBO: New IRS Audits Will Grab at Least $20B from Lower- & Middle-Income Families

August 12, 2022 — 'Inflation Reduction Act'    — Blog    — Oversight    — Press Releases    — Supercharged IRS   

Key Point: At least $20 billion of the revenue Democrats hope to collect from taxpayers with a supercharged IRS would come from lower- and middle-income earners and small businesses, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan congressional scorekeeper. That’s in addition to existing audits of these income levels.


Explanation: Last weekend, all 50 Senate Democrats voted against an amendment offered by Senate Finance Republican Leader Mike Crapo (R-ID) that would have protected lower- and middle-income American taxpayers against new audits by the IRS.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirms that had this amendment passed and lower- and middle-income taxpayers been protected, revenue in Democrats’ bill would have been reduced by at least $20 billion – confirming that at least $20 billion of the $124 billion in new revenue expected by a supercharged IRS will be coming from higher audits on low- and middle-income Americans. This will be in addition to existing audits on these income levels.


From CBO:


“CBO has not completed a point estimate of this amendment but the preliminary assessment indicates that amendment 5404 would reduce the ‘non-scorable’ revenues resulting from the provisions of section 10301 by at least $20 billion over the FY2022-FY2031 period.”


Additional Background:


Lower- and middle-income earning Americans are the primary target in Democrats’ bill:

  • A previous Congressional Budget Office analysis makes clear that under this plan, audit rates will “rise for all taxpayers” and the policy “would return audit rates to the levels of about 10 years ago.”
  • The Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s official tax scorekeeper, says that from 78 percent to 90 percent of the money raised from under-reported income would likely come from those making less than $200,000 a year. Nearly half of the audits would hit Americans making $75,000 per year or less and only 4 percent to 9 percent would come from those making more than $500,000.
  • Democrats voted against guardrails preventing audits for middle-income earners, instead using non-binding legislative language that would do nothing to protect taxpayers from agency abuse.


READ: Brady on Manchin-Biden Bill: Attention Walmart Shoppers– More IRS Audits Headed Your Way