Tom Ozimek, The Epoch Times
IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel provided details on plans to hire armed investigators in the criminal investigations division of the agency, amid Republican concerns over a proliferation gun-toting tax enforcers.
Daniel Werfel, the IRS commissioner nominee, testifies in front of the Senate Finance Committee at his hearing on February 15, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
The IRS Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), unit's share of employees would not rise above its current level, which is around 2.6 per cent of the IRS workforce.
Werfel stated on the phone that there are 'no plans' to increase the IRS-CI unit's hiring rate. Werfel said on the call that 'that will remain at its current level'
IRS-CI investigates possible criminal activity relating to tax crimes, and recommends prosecution to the Department of Justice's tax division. The criminal investigation division agents are allowed to use lethal force and carry firearms.
former IRS Special Agent Robert Nordlander.
As of the budget year 2022, there were approximately 2,077 agents working in the Criminal Investigations Unit. This represents about 2.6 percent (or a little over 2,500) of the IRS’s total workforce.
The agency's Strategic Operating Plan, released on April 6, is available.
The plan outlines how the IRS will use the new $80 billion provided by the Democrats' Inflation Reduction Act. The money would be used for hiring thousands of new workers, improving tax enforcement, customer service and auditing wealthy taxpayers and companies.
There were 8,782 new hires for enforcement and 13,883 for taxpayer service.
If we assume no attrition due to retirement and resignation, the IRS will have approximately 110,000 employees by 2024.
To maintain its 2.6 percent share in the total workforce, the IRS-CI would have to increase the number of armed officers to 2,860.
Between 300 and 350 Special Agents this year
If in the next year, another 300-350 new agents are hired, the total would be between 2,677 to 2,777. This is roughly 2.4 to 2.5 percent of the IRS workforce.
Cutrell stated that the unit lost between 150 to 175 special agents per year due to retirements and attrition.
The IRS strategic plan does not include any hiring projections beyond 2024. The IRS stated that it would update its annual operating plan and adjust its hiring plan.
Republicans warned that $80 billion in cash would be used by the IRS to hire an "army" of 87,000 tax enforcers.
() estimated that the IRS would be able to hire 86.852 full-time staff over a 10-year period if it received an additional $80 billion in funding.
'Army 87,000 Tax Enforcement Officers'?
After Republicans warned of the impact of the new $80 billion IRS funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act, the idea of an "army of 87,000" new tax enforcement agents became a meme on the internet.