Daniel Werfel, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), has revealed the federal agency’s plans for hiring armed enforcement agents. Werfel says that the IRS intends to hire armed agents to serve in its criminal investigations division after the Republican-led House forced the agency to put its plan of hiring 87,000 new agents on pause earlier this year.
Republican legislators are concerned about a proliferation of gun-wielding tax enforcers.
According to Werfel, in a phone call with reporters, the number of employees who belong to the IRS Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) unit will not increase above the current level. Approximately 2.6 percent of the IRS’s overall workforce is employed by IRS-CI. Adding to that sentiment, Werfel insists that there are “no plans to increase” the hiring rate at the IRS-CI unit. “That will stay at its current rate.”
As part of its role, the IRS-CI investigates potential criminal activity related to tax crimes and provides recommendations to the Department of Justice’s tax division on whether prosecution should be pursued.
As part of their duties, the agents in the criminal investigations division are authorized to carry guns and use lethal force when necessary.
The agency refers to armed tax enforcement agents as “gun-toters,” according to former IRS Special Agent Robert Nordlander. Considering the unofficial title and manner of operation, one would think Democrat anti-gun activists would support not using gun-toting law enforcement agents who are simply responsible for enforcing parts of the tax code in which violations amount to crimes.
What’s worse, is that in some liberal states or cities, like New York, violent criminals such as murderers and rapists are being set free on no bail, with new soft-on-crime policies Soros-led District Attorneys are taking, specifically, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg. However, the rules of enforcement are far different when it comes to the government getting its money.
According to the IRS-CI’s annual report, there were roughly 2,077 special agents in the criminal investigations unit as of the 2022 budget year, which represents around 2.6 percent of the IRS’s entire workforce.
Slay News has more on these alarming statistics:
As of the 2022 budget year, the IRS employed 80,006 full-time staffers, according to the agency’s strategic operating plan released on April 6.
The plan indicates how the IRS plans to use the $80 billion in new funding provided by the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act.
The new cash infusion would be used to hire thousands of new employees and improve tax enforcement and customer service.
The IRS claims that the funding will be used to target wealthy taxpayers and corporations with audits.
However, concerns have been raised that the agency will ramp up efforts to crack down on everyday Americans, as Slay News reported.
The plan indicates the agency intends to hire nearly 20,000 new full-time employees during the 2023 and 2024 fiscal years, including 8,782 hires in enforcement and 13,883 in taxpayer service.
Assuming no attrition owing to resignation and retirement, that would put the IRS’s total workforce by 2024 at roughly 100,000 employees.
In order to maintain the IRS-CI’s 2.6 percent share of the entire workforce, it would need to bring up the number of armed agents to roughly 2,600 from the current 2,077.
Republicans have warned that the IRS’s $80 billion cash infusion would be used to hire an “army of 87,000” tax enforcers.
The 87,000 figure was revealed in a 2021 Treasury Department report that estimated that the IRS could hire 86,852 full-time employees over the course of a decade if it were to receive an $80 billion funding boost.
When the Inflation Reduction Act was passed, Republicans warned that the $80 billion in new IRS funding would be used to squeeze ordinary Americans for “every last penny.”
“87,000 more IRS enforcers would make the IRS bigger than the Pentagon, the State Department, and Border Patrol COMBINED,” Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a Twitter post last summer.
Democrat President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, former IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, and others have pushed back on such framing of the funding boost.
They’ve insisted the money would be used to increase collections from high-earners and help with customer service.
The Biden administration claims Americans earning less than $400,000 wouldn’t face increased scrutiny from the agency.
As regards armed staffers at the agency’s criminal investigations division, some have questioned the need for IRS agents to carry guns.
The IRS-CI itself says agents will be required to be willing and able to participate in “dangerous assignments” and to use “deadly force.”