As part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the IRS received additional funding that’s already making a big difference in how they enforce tax laws and assist taxpayers.
According to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, the new funding has allowed them to take quick and strong action to close the gap in tax enforcement, particularly for wealthy taxpayers. The IRS has now closed approximately 175 delinquent tax cases for millionaires, bringing in $38 million in recovered taxes. Commissioner Werfel promised that they’ll keep going after delinquent millionaires as they continue to strengthen their enforcement capabilities through the IRA.
Not only has the funding helped with tax enforcement, but it has also empowered the Criminal Investigations unit to close cases involving tax evaders who spent money owed to the government on luxury items, vacations, and even gambling. In one case, a person was ordered to pay over $6 million in restitution.
The IRS is also working hard to meet its hiring goals, aiming to bring in more talent to better enforce tax laws on the highest earners. While progress is being made, Commissioner Werfel expects this effort to take some time, as they want to ensure the agency can handle the unique challenges of enforcing the tax code for the wealthiest taxpayers.
Additionally, the IRA funds are also being used to assist taxpayers. The IRS has reopened 35 Taxpayer Assistance Centers and introduced a new program called “Community Assistance Visits.” These visits allow taxpayers to get in-person help from the IRS at temporary assistance centers in various locations across the country. The first event was held in June in Paris, Texas, in partnership with the United Way, with more in the planning stages. “Currently, seven additional locations have been determined for these special visits,” he said, including Alpena, Mich., Hastings, Neb., Twin Falls, Idaho, Juneau, Alaska, Lihue, Hawaii, Baker City, Ore., and Gallup, N.M.
Finally, the IRS is making strides in modernizing its technology to provide better services to taxpayers by enhancing the Tax Professional Online Account which improves account management and payment viewing. Plus, they’re testing a mobile app called “Inform Me,” which will help taxpayers get answers to their questions and find guidance on IRS.gov by simply scanning a paper IRS form or notice.