Posted BY: Anony Mee
The talk in the media is about a “beefed-up” IRS. The IRS budget for FY 2022 totals nearly $14 billion ($11.9 billion in appropriated funds) with a full-time equivalent (FTE) staff ceiling of 79,808 (75,533 from appropriated funding.)
Now, the Democrat-controlled Congress, at the behest of the Biden Administration, wants to take that up an additional almost $80 billion, with 1% going to Department of the Treasury offices other than the IRS. That adds up to nearly $93 billion, seven times this year’s budget. SEVEN TIMES.
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In addition, Democrats want to add in another 86,852 FTEs, more than doubling the staffing to 166,660. These positions are described as “new, specialized enforcement staff.” See page 17 of the American Families Plan Tax Compliance Agenda for more. The increased funding and staffing are designed to restore IRS enforcement capability through a sustained rebuilding of the IRS.
According to IRS data, staffing was at a peak in 1995 at 114,064 FTEs. That was before automation, common use internet, and e-filing. Data processing took more than a quarter of all staff.
Within two years, the data processing staff was cut in half—no surprise there—and disappeared altogether as a category a couple of years later. As banking became more automated, collections staff numbers other than revenue officers were reduced by two-thirds. With the advent of e-filing, the filing and account management staff declined. Staffing has been more or less at today’s level for a decade, which is eminently reasonable as more sophisticated automation is available to both the IRS and the taxpayer. Under these circumstances, the IRS will not be rebuilding its old structure nor restoring anything that may have been lost. So, what’s going on?