U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Taxation and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Oversight, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a current member of the Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight, today announced that they intend to introduce legislation that responds to the Democrats’ use of the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” (IRA) to infuse $80 billion of new funding into the IRS’s budget. The legislation, which is still being finalized, will be introduced when the Senate returns to session later this month. It would give Congress a direct say in how this new funding could be spent, hold the IRS more accountable, and provide more transparency for the American people.
“The Democrats’ attempt to supersize the IRS without holding the agency accountable to Congress and American taxpayers is dangerous and irresponsible,” said Thune. “This legislation would provide much-needed oversight of the unprecedented $80 billion in new funding to the agency, more than half of which Democrats have directed toward enforcement-related measures, including audits. If our bill becomes law, the Biden administration’s IRS would have to answer to the American people, not Washington bureaucrats.”
“Government, especially when it comes to the treatment of taxpayers, needs to accountable and transparent to the American people,” said Grassley. “When Democrats’ partisan spending bill gave the IRS an extra 80 billion dollars, their legislation included no oversight mechanisms whatsoever. Our bill will ensure that the IRS is answerable to the American people in how it uses this money, and will force it to forfeit funds every day it’s not in compliance.”
The senators’ legislation would, among other things, require the IRS to provide Congress with an annual plan for how the agency intends to use the new IRA funds, which would be subject to a new joint resolution of disapproval. The bill would also require quarterly updates from the IRS and U.S. Department of the Treasury to enable consistent and transparent evaluation of the plans, provide accountability for any misuse of funds, and guard against violations of taxpayer rights. Failure to submit timely and thorough plans or reports would result in financial penalties, including IRA funds being rescinded on a daily basis until the IRS complies with the reporting requirements.
The legislation is supported by the National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Tax Reform, and Americans for Prosperity. The full bill text will be available upon the formal introduction of the legislation.
Thune recently penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal outlining Republicans’ plans to hold the IRS accountable.