Five former Internal Revenue Service commissioners said Tuesday that President Biden’s proposal to boost the agency’s budget and step up enforcement of tax laws “would restore our tax administration system to make it far fairer and more effective.”
In an opinion piece published by The Washington Post, the five former IRS chiefs — Lawrence Gibbs, Fred Goldberg, Margaret Richardson, Charles Rossotti and John Koskinen — say that budget cuts over the past decade have left the agency “starved for resources” and resulted in worse service for taxpayers and sharp drops in audit rates for millionaires and large corporations.
Biden has proposed providing $80 billion for the IRS over 10 years, with the money going toward a technology overhaul, new hiring and training of personnel and increased enforcement focused on top earners. The Treasury Department projects that such reforms will generate an additional $700 billion in revenue over 10 years — and other estimates, including from two of the former IRS commissioners, say the gains would be far greater, as high as $1.4 trillion.
The former commissioners say that Biden’s plan “would benefit everyone who pays their taxes. It would produce a great deal of revenue by reducing the enormous gap between taxes legally owed and taxes actually paid — much of it through increased voluntary compliance. And it would improve taxpayers’ interactions with the IRS.”