(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) warned that with the hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents with the Inflation Reduction Act that was signed into law this week, half of the 700,000 audits that are expected to take place will go to people making $75,000 or less, and what’s more, conservatives could be specific targets.
According to the “Austin American-Statesman,” the 87,000 figure comes from a May 2021 Treasury Department assessment of how it would use $80 billion to improve IRS operations.
On page 17 of the assessment titled, “The American Families Plan Tax Compliance Agenda,” under the table heading “IRS Proposal and Revenue Raised,” the IRS proposes adding 86,852 new full-time positions by 2031.
“The American people already have a distrust of the IRS. As recently as Lois Lerner and the actions she took, but no one ever views the IRS as some caring, parental agency that's going to reach out to you to try and help you fill out your tax return or something like that. Right? So now you're adding all these people and the intention is for audits, right?” he told Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo.”
“They have said that this is how we're going to pay for all this spending. What we're going to do is we're going to start collecting more from people and finding out ways that maybe they did something wrong, and I tell you, when you get down to it, and there's supposed to be like 700,000 audits that take place, and a lot of those are going to go -- it's estimated that half of them will go to people making $75,000 or less,” Wenstrup said.
“When you get an audit by the IRS, you usually have to bring in professional help to defend you and to take you through this, and a lot of these people can't afford something like this. So I think it is a concern for the American people, and if somehow the author of that opinion piece thinks had that American people trust the IRS otherwise, and that the GOP are lending out some way to create the stress that's what real misrepresentation of what's going on,” he said.
“I think of the quote by Ronald Reagan, I'm from the government and I'm here to help. No one believes that. No one believes that. Frankly, I don't know where they're going to get 87,000 people to do these jobs that have an accounting background,” the congressman said.
Wenstrup pointed out that there’s an estimated $400 billion in unemployment fraud that took place, mostly from people who live outside the country, and the Democrats voted down an amendment he offered to go after the fraud.
“You know what's really interesting too in all of this, you're trying to recoup money, how about all the fraud that has taken place from the unemployment insurance, the unemployment benefits that went out during COVID. It's estimated $400 billion, and you know, when we were having the mark-up on Ways and Means for Build Back Better, I offered an amendment to go after fraud, the Democrats voted it down. They voted it down,” the congressman said.
“Most of this is foreign anyway, and we should be actually going after all of that, but I was assured by the Ways and Means chairman that ‘you make a very good point, and we need to do that, and he told me off the record, I'm going to talk to Nancy Pelosi about this. We have to do something.’ We have not had one hearing about the fraud that has just ripped off the American taxpayer time and time again. Nothing has happened there,” he said.
Wenstrup added that Republicans “want people to pay their taxes according to the law.”
“We want people to pay their tax as according to the law. We're the party of law and order, and so we do want people to pay their taxes appropriately, but these seem to be witch hunts and going after people, and it's going to be targeted,” he said.
“Look, you already saw what Lois Lerner did in the IRS where she specifically went after conservative groups. Tell me there's not reason to be concerned when we have the IRS taking action like this,” the congressman said.