Paul L. Caron

Thursday, May 23, 2024

WSJ: The IRS Money Hole Gets Deeper

Wall Street Journal Editorial, The IRS Money Hole Gets Deeper:

IRS Logo (2023)The Internal Revenue Service can’t write its own checks, which means it has to ask Congress for funding like any other agency. But if lawmakers have been tracking its misspending, they’ll turn down the tax collectors’ new $104 billion budget request and demand an audit instead.

Commissioner Danny Werfel appeared before the House Appropriations Committee recently and told legislators that the IRS faces financial collapse. “Resources are limited,” he said, and the agency “will likely use them entirely before the funding expires.” In other words, the IRS doesn’t think the $60 billion bonus it received from Congress in 2022 is enough, though it is supposed to last through 2031.

The IRS has a brilliant solution for this cash burn: Add more to the pile. Instead of explaining where the money went, Mr. Werfel asked the House to look away and grant his team another massive funding boost, this time through 2034. The extended bonus he seeks would bring total supplementary funding to $104 billion over 10 years. ...

Missing from the IRS’s request was an accounting of how its last round of funding has been run down so quickly. The money it received in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was meant to fund a strategic overhaul, but not much of the plan has been carried out. ...

[T]he agency ... howled in protest when House Republicans clawed back $20 billion from the original $80 billion Democrats gave the agency in the 2022 IRA. Despite his pleas, Mr. Werfel is making a strong case for stripping the remainder instead of adding another cent of additional cash.

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