A frequent target of Republican scorn, the IRS has seen its budget cut significantly in recent years. But the spending deal for 2018 boosts the agency’s budget by $196 million compared to 2017, for a total of $11.43 billion.
The IRS budget would likely have been lower if not for a $320 million allocation tied explicitly to the cost of implementing the tax legislation passed in December. Last month, Acting Commissioner David Kautter told Congress that the IRS would need $397 million to implement the law, with the money being used to reprogram aging computer systems and to create or revise more than 450 tax forms. Earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged lawmakers to heed Kautter’s request.
The funds come with some strings attached: The $320 million will be available only until September 30, 2019, and can’t be used until the appropriations committees approves a spending plan submitted by the agency.