Elon Musk Weighs In On IRS Preparing To Hire Army Of Agents
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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk poked fun at his fellow Americans on Thursday for allowing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to more than double in size.

Musk posted a meme depicting a laughing British redcoat, along with the caption: “when the country that revolted over taxes hires 87,000 new IRS agents.”

Musk, a South African who lived in Canada before becoming an American citizen, told a user that he already gets “audited every year by default.”

Indeed, top Biden administration officials — including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig — have argued that the 87,000 new employees, who will be hired through an $80 billion carveout from the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act, will focus primarily upon wealthy Americans. The IRS employed nearly 79,000 full-time employees as of fiscal year 2021, according to the agency, which also reported $13.7 billion in operating costs.

“I direct that any additional resources — including any new personnel or auditors that are hired — shall not be used to increase the share of small business or households below the $400,000 threshold that are audited relative to historical levels,” Yellen told Rettig in a Wednesday letter. “This means that, contrary to the misinformation from opponents of this legislation, small business or households earning $400,000 per year or less will not see an increase in the chances that they are audited.”

Yellen did not mention, however, that “historical levels” of audits were significantly higher as recently as one decade ago. According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, audit rates for Americans earning between $25,000 to $200,000 fell 76% between 2010 and 2019, while those earning less than $25,000 saw audit rates fall by 61%. Taxpayers earning between $200,000 and $500,000 — representing those at the upper end of the Biden administration’s vow to not raise taxes for those earning less than $400,000 — saw a 92% decline in audits.

The report added that IRS officials “attributed the overall decline in audit rates to decreased funding, and therefore reduced staffing to conduct audits” — constraints which are directly addressed by the Inflation Reduction Act. The agency’s job description for new agents says that employees must “carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary.”

Yet Rettig vowed that his agency will “absolutely not” use its new employees to target middle-class Americans and small businesses. Instead, he promised that the new funding will create better information technology systems that will help Americans more easily comply with tax laws.

For his part, Musk has repeatedly warned about the dangers of unsustainable fiscal habits. “True national debt, including unfunded entitlements, is at least $60 trillion — roughly three times the size of the entire US economy,” he commented on social media earlier this year. “Something has got to give.”

Even as several left-wing lawmakers — such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) — accused Musk of “freeloading off everyone else” and failing to pay his “fair share,” the entrepreneur revealed that he paid $11 billion in taxes last year.

“And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year,” Musk retorted. “Don’t spend it all at once … oh wait you did already.”

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