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Congressman Beyer: IRS Needs Additional Funding to Track Down Tax Evaders

AP Photo / Alex Brandon

Tax season is upon us, and that means officials at the Internal Revenue Service are working overtime this time of year. But, one Virginia congressman worries that the IRS isn’t getting the funding it needs.

In the last decade, IRS audits of wealthy people fell 75% according to a recent report by ProPublica. That’s concerning to Congressman Don Beyer – a Democrat from Alexandria – especially because audits of middle-class taxpayers and poor people taking the Earned Income Tax Credit did not fall nearly as much.

“Some wealthy people clearly share the belief that tax-deductible donations or fraudulent charities, bribes to get their kids into college or aggressively and illegally undervaluing real-estate assets to avoid tax liabilities,” says Beyer.

As a new member of the Ways and Means Committee, Beyer asked Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin what he was going to do about it.

“The IRS needs technology to bring it into the modern age, and compliance in shrinking the tax gap, in my opinion, updated technology is the number one way for us to accomplish that,” Mnuchin says.

Beyer says a better website or phone system does not help crack down on people trying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. He says the IRS needs to focus its attention on wealthy tax evaders.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.