The Internal Revenue Service plans to hire thousands of new workers as part of its sweeping plan to crack down on potential tax violations by wealthy Americans.
The tax-collecting agency announced Friday that it plans to fill more than 3,700 openings nationwide to "help with expanded enforcement work focusing on complex partnerships and large corporations."
The compliance positions are available in 250 locations, and are intended to "add fairness to the tax system" and expand oversight involving "areas of concern," including high-income earners, big corporations, partnerships and promoters, according to the IRS.
"This next wave of hiring will help the IRS add key talent like tax accountants to help reverse a decade-long decline of audits for the wealthy as well as complex partnerships and corporations," IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said in a statement.
The job openings are part of a broader hiring spree underway at the IRS.
In April, the agency – which had about 78,700 employees as of 2021 – said it plans to hire nearly 30,000 new employees by the end of fiscal year 2025, including 8,782 hires in enforcement and 13,883 in taxpayer services. The new enforcement employees will be focused exclusively on high-earning households, larger partnerships and companies.
Funding for the new IRS agents was included in the Democrats' health care and climate change spending bill – dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act – that President Biden signed into law in 2022. The influx of money is aimed at improving tax compliance among big corporations and wealthy Americans and shrinking the estimated $600 billion tax gap.
Still, the additional funding has elicited fierce pushback from Republicans and other critics, who say that a beefed-up IRS could ultimately hurt lower-income Americans.
That's because the IRS disproportionately targets low-income Americans when it conducts tax audits each year. The discrepancy is primarily due to high-income taxpayers having complex investments that can easily shroud the gaps between taxes owed and paid vs. taxes reported and paid.
The IRS has repeatedly stated that it will comply with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's order to not increase audit rates for Americans who earn less than $400,000 a year – a message the agency reiterated last week when it announced efforts to crack down on 1,600 millionaires and 75 large businesses that it said owed millions in back taxes.
"As part of the effort, the IRS will also ensure audit rates do not increase for those earning less than $400,000 a year as well as adding new fairness safeguards for those claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit," the IRS said at the time.