Pascrell Praises Huge IRS Reforms
Treasury outlines plans for implementing historic investment included in Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act
PATERSON, NJ – Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, today praised just-released plans by the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to drastically improve IRS operations and enforcement through the historic investment passed by congressional Democrats in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA).
“Right now, the IRS is answering the phones and getting refund checks out fast thanks to the historic support the Democratic Congress enacted last year,” said Congressman Pascrell. “But we have a long way to go in building a fair tax system that works for all Americans. I am grateful for the leadership of Secretary Yellen and Commissioner Werfel in developing this aggressive plan to make tax administration in America better and ensure the 1% and corporations pay their fair share without clever abuses and avoidance. As we approach the end of another tax season, I will continue to be relentless in my efforts to support dedicated IRS employees and bring an end to our nation’s two-tier tax system. Congressional Democrats and the Biden Treasury Department are moving with urgency toward that essential goal.”
On August 17, 2022, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen requested the IRS produce a spending plan to invest IRA funding in customer service, business operations, tax enforcement, and efforts to “end the two-tiered tax system.” On August 18, 2022, Pascrell was the first Member of Congress to formally request the IRS provide a detailed plan for how the agency will use the fresh funding provided by the IRA to drastically improve taxpayer services, build an accessible tax system for all Americans, and ensure wealthy tax evaders pay their fair share.
The newly unveiled plan envisions a revitalized IRS with a renewed focus on customer service, tax enforcement against wealthy tax evaders and big business tax cheats, and modernizing outdated technology systems. The plan centers around five core objectives:
- dramatically improving services to help taxpayers receive the tax incentives for which they are eligible.
- quickly resolving taxpayer issues when they arise.
- focusing expanded enforcement on taxpayers with complex tax filings and high-dollar noncompliance to address the tax gap.
- deliver cutting-edge technology, data, and analytics to operate more effectively.
- attract, retain, and empower a highly skilled, diverse workforce and develop a culture that is better equipped to deliver results for taxpayers.
As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight in the 117th Congress and Ranking Member in the 118th Congress, Pascrell has made fixing the IRS with a focus on fairness his top priority. On February 18, 2021, in the Oversight panel’s first hearing of the new Congress, Pascrell convened a hearing on “Free Tax Preparation Services During the Pandemic” to examine ways to make tax time easier for working Americans. On December 8, 2021, Pascrell convened a hearing on “Tax Havens in America and Hidden Wealth” to investigate ways the wealthy avoid paying their fair share. On February 8, 2022, Pascrell held a hearing on “Challenges Facing Taxpayers in the 2022 Filing Season” with the National Taxpayer Advocate. On May 18, 2022, Pascrell convened a hearing on “Tax Fairness and the IRS” where he unveiled a GAO report written at his request that found plummeting audit rates over the last decade, disproportionately benefiting wealthy Americans.
On March 9, 2023, Pascrell praised the confirmation of Daniel Werfel as the new Commissioner of the IRS. That same day, Pascrell led fellow Democratic members of the Oversight Subcommittee in a letter to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel urging him to direct IRA funding toward overhauling the agency’s entire auditing regime to ensure wealthy tax scofflaws and big business tax cheats pay their fair share. On March 10, 2023, Pascrell asked Secretary Janet Yellen about his letter during her testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, where she expressed a commitment to addressing his concerns.