Here are 4 priorities for the IRS’s $80 billion endowment
Finance Minister Janet Yellen speaks during a press conference on July 14.
Making Nagi | Reuters
Yellen outlines 4 priorities for $80 billion endowment
The memo also describes how the $80 billion funding provides a “monumental opportunity” to transform the IRS, citing four priorities.
1. Clear backlog
With millions of tax returns pending, Yellen aims to “completely resolve” the agency’s backlog, the memo states. Rettig in March pledge to release the garbage by the end of 2022and as of August 5, there were 9.7 million unprocessed individual 2021 tax returns, according to the IRS.
2. Improve customer service
Yellen also pushed for the implementation of “significant improvements” to taxpayer services. While the agency only answered 11% of phone calls in fiscal year 2021, Taxpayer Advocates reported, The IRS has recently taken advantage of technology for improvement.
3. Overhaul the agency’s technology system
Another priority is an “overhaul” to the agency’s technology systems, which the memo describes as “decades out of date.”
“The two IRS systems that contain official records of individual and corporate taxpayer accounts are the oldest major technology systems in the federal government,” said National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins wrote in his post. January report to Parliament.
4. Hire IRS staff to replace retired workers
Yellen also prioritized hiring IRS employees, with a goal of replacing 50,000 IRS workers expected to retire over the next five years.
For fiscal year 2021, the IRS workforce consisted of 78,661 full-time employees, a 12.9% decrease since 2012, by agency.
“This operational plan is key to ensuring the public and Congress can hold the agency accountable as it pursues the needed improvements,” Yellen added.
Critics worry about increased IRS checks
$80 billion in IRS funding has been controversial. While critics have suggested that the new resources could trigger increased audits beyond wealthy taxpayers, Yellen refuted these claims in a statement. letter to Rettig on August 10.
“Specifically, I direct that any additional resources – including any new hires or auditors – shall not be used to increase the market share of small businesses or households under threshold of $400,000 audited against historical levels,” she wrote.