Guns, Body Armor, Spy Gear: Here’s What Biden’s Beefed-Up IRS Investigation Unit Will Pack
Jason Finn/EyeEm/GettyImages

The IRS is about to go on an 87,000-employee hiring spree and many of those new tax collectors will be packing heat while they hunt for money.

The agency just got an $80 billion cut of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which it will use to roughly double its ranks by 2031. More than half will go to “enforcement-related” efforts, which includes hiring special agents, who the agency’s job description says will “carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary.”

“As a Special Agent you will combine your accounting skills with law enforcement skills to investigate financial crimes,” the description states. “Special Agents are duly sworn law enforcement officers who are trained to ‘follow the money.'”

In addition to carrying guns and badges, investigators in the IRS Criminal Investigation branch, who have carried firearms and used special equipment for years, will be outfitted with all the trappings of police officers. Other investigative equipment at their disposal includes fleet and surveillance vehicles, radio communication equipment, body armor, electronic surveillance equipment, audio and video equipment, cameras and lenses, night vision equipment, optical equipment, funds for confidential informants, and something called “padded training suits.” The IRS bought $700,000 in ammunition earlier this year.

The new hires won’t be picked on their merits alone, according to the agency.

“Criminal Investigation Special Agents are part of a diverse workforce that mirrors the taxpaying public we serve,” the IRS vowed.

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig told the Senate in an August 4 letter that the agency’s massive expansion should not scare the middle class.

“These resources are absolutely not about increasing audit scrutiny on small businesses or middle-income Americans,” Rettig wrote. “As we’ve been planning, our investment of these enforcement resources is designed around the Department of the Treasury’s directive that audit rates will not rise relative to recent years for households making under $400,000.”

Observers are skeptical.

Nonpartisan watchdog Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that as much as 90% of the estimated $200 billion in additional funds the IRS will collect as a result of beefing up its ranks will come from small businesses.

“The IRS will have to target small and medium businesses because they won’t fight back,” Joe Hinchman, executive vice president at National Taxpayers Union Foundation, told the New York Post. “We’ve seen this play out before … the IRS says ‘We’re going after the rich’ but when you’re trying to raise that much money, the rich can only get you so far.”

“The approach here is to double the IRS workforce, take the leash off, and see how much they can collect,” Hinchman added.

Rettig’s letter to lawmakers about the aggressive growth plan included a potentially ominous sentence, at least for anyone who has ever been audited.

“I cannot be forceful enough in emphasizing that these resources will be transformative for the agency and for American taxpayers,” Rettig wrote.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Guns, Body Armor, Spy Gear: Here’s What Biden’s Beefed-Up IRS Investigation Unit Will Pack