Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Daniel Werfel has disclosed the agency’s intentions to hire armed enforcement agents. The IRS intends to employ armed agents to serve in its criminal investigations division, according to Werfel, after the Republican-led House earlier this year forced the agency to halt its plan to hire 87,000 new agents.
Republican lawmakers are concerned about the proliferation of armed tax collectors.
In a phone call with reporters, Werfel stated that the number of IRS Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) employees will not increase above the present level. IRS-CI employs approximately 2.6% of the organization’s total personnel. Werfel maintains that there are “no plans to increase” the rate of hiring at the IRS-CI unit, reiterating the previous statement. That will continue at its present rate.
As part of its responsibilities, the IRS-CI investigates potential criminal activity related to tax offenses and advises the Department of Justice’s tax division on whether or not to pursue prosecution.
The criminal investigations division agents are authorized to bear firearms and use deadly force as part of their duties.
According to former IRS Special Agent Robert Nordlander, armed tax enforcement agents are referred to as “gun-toters” by the agency. Considering the unofficial name and mode of operation, one would assume that Democratic anti-gun activists would oppose the use of armed law enforcement agents whose sole responsibility is to enforce criminal tax code provisions.
In some liberal states or localities, such as New York, violent criminals such as murderers and rapists are being released without parole due to new soft-on-crime policies implemented by District Attorneys headed by George Soros, namely Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg. When it comes to obtaining government funds, however, the principles of enforcement are drastically different.
According to the IRS-CI’s annual report, as of the 2022 fiscal year there were approximately 2,077 special agents in the criminal investigations unit, which represents approximately 2.6% of the IRS’s total personnel.
Slay News has additional information on these alarming statistics:
As of the 2022 budget year, the IRS employed 80,006 full-time staffers, according to the agency’s strategic operating plan released on April 6.
The plan indicates how the IRS plans to use the $80 billion in new funding provided by the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act.
The new cash infusion would be used to hire thousands of new employees and improve tax enforcement and customer service.
The IRS claims that the funding will be used to target wealthy taxpayers and corporations with audits.
However, concerns have been raised that the agency will ramp up efforts to crack down on everyday Americans, as Slay News reported.
The plan indicates the agency intends to hire nearly 20,000 new full-time employees during the 2023 and 2024 fiscal years, including 8,782 hires in enforcement and 13,883 in taxpayer service.
Assuming no attrition owing to resignation and retirement, that would put the IRS’s total workforce by 2024 at roughly 100,000 employees.
In order to maintain the IRS-CI’s 2.6 percent share of the entire workforce, it would need to bring up the number of armed agents to roughly 2,600 from the current 2,077.
Republicans have warned that the IRS’s $80 billion cash infusion would be used to hire an “army of 87,000” tax enforcers.
The 87,000 figure was revealed in a 2021 Treasury Department report that estimated that the IRS could hire 86,852 full-time employees over the course of a decade if it were to receive an $80 billion funding boost.
When the Inflation Reduction Act was passed, Republicans warned that the $80 billion in new IRS funding would be used to squeeze ordinary Americans for “every last penny.”
“87,000 more IRS enforcers would make the IRS bigger than the Pentagon, the State Department, and Border Patrol COMBINED,” Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a Twitter post last summer.
Democrat President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, former IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, and others have pushed back on such framing of the funding boost.
They’ve insisted the money would be used to increase collections from high-earners and help with customer service.
The Biden administration claims Americans earning less than $400,000 wouldn’t face increased scrutiny from the agency.
As regards armed staffers at the agency’s criminal investigations division, some have questioned the need for IRS agents to carry guns.
The IRS-CI itself says agents will be required to be willing and able to participate in “dangerous assignments” and to use “deadly force.”