In a report to the Secretary of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service unveiled its strategic operating plan for the next decade, emphasizing its commitment to scrutinize large corporate and high-income individual taxpayers more rigorously. The IRS also plans to use the extra funding it was recently given to improve customer service and update its antiquated systems and technology.
The IRS has been working on the 150-page Strategic Operating Plan since last August's passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which included $80 billion in new funding for the agency over 10 years. A clear goal of the plan is to build the agency's capacity to audit high-income taxpayers—specifically the approximately 30,000 people earning more than $10 million a year—and complex large businesses.
The plan consists of 42 "key initiatives" and 190 "key projects" that the service will undertake over the next decade, with the understanding that it will add projects as necessary. While the document discusses hiring almost 30,000 new employees—including 5,000 customer service representatives—it does not specify how many of them will work in enforcement. However, given that $45 billion of the total $80 billion is slated for enforcement, it seems likely that many of those new hires will be in that area.
"For years, the agency has not had the resources to provide the service people deserve. Across all of our operations, we've seen the impact," IRS commissioner, Danny Werfel said. "We've lost employees and seen our resources stretched thin with new mandates and an increasingly complex economy. The IRS looks forward to demonstrating how the actions under this plan will translate into real improvements for taxpayers. Technology, as well as in-person assistance, will be cornerstones of this effort."
The commissioner also claimed that the impact of the funding is already being felt: "People can see the first signs of change this filing season following this infusion of funding," he said. "Taxpayers and tax professionals can see the difference as we have dramatically improved our phone service thanks to more staff. More walk-in services are available across the country. New digital tools have been added. And these are just the first steps."
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