Warnings of the politicization of the IRS are coming from Republicans as Democrats seek $5.2 billion of enforcement funding for the tax-collecting agency. So, basically, politics on politics.
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said conservatives are concerned that there will be targeting with the finances, as some investigations determined had occurred during President Barack Obama’s administration.
“You’ll see tremendous politicization of the IRS during a Biden administration,” Norquist told FOX News. “There will be an effort to bulk up and harass, first, small businesses, then they will go after political groups. … Democrats weren’t looking to throw the money into the IRS when Trump was president. But they want to do it now.”
Trump is still president, but that’s a different matter.
During the Biden campaign, Council on Economic Advisers appointee Jared Bernstein said the president-elect will seek “significant increases in IRS enforcement and auditing, particularly for those with complex business structures.” A letter from 25 House Democrats seeks the enforcement and compliance funding for “tax fairness.”
“Increasing the examinations and collections budget by $20 billion over 10 years increases revenues by $61 billion, and if [the budget] is increased by $40 billion over 10 years, it would increase revenues by $103 billion,” the letter stated.
Tea Party Patriots Action honorary chairwoman Jenny Beth Martin questioned whether the IRS will violate First Amendment rights. A 2013 Treasury Inspector General report and a 2015 Senate Finance Committee report concluded that the IRS considered tea party policies in judging its tax-exempt status. Norquist told FOX News that it killed the movement.
The IRS apologized in 2017 and the federal government settled for $3.5 million with tea party groups. That money is barely gone before a new battle begins.