The Biden Administration’s study to examine whether the IRS should be the tax preparer, filer, and auditor for millions of Americans was nothing more than a box-checking exercise – as confirmed by the outcome of the $15 million feasibility study released by the IRS today and reports that the agency has already initiated a direct e-file pilot program. The so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” required the IRS to study whether it was appropriate for the agency to establish such a system. In response, the agency hired an organization staffed by Democrat operatives – that has already expressed support for such a program – to reach a foregone conclusion. Apparently, the agency developed a direct e-file pilot program before the “independent” study had even been completed.
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) released the following statement after the IRS released its study on the IRS creating its own e-file system:
“From the start, the Biden Administration cooked the books to get exactly the outcome it wanted. The IRS chose a left-wing think tank and professor to run the study, both of whom are already on the record supporting the IRS becoming America’s tax preparer, filer, and auditor. IRS control of tax preparation is the latest step in Democrats ongoing efforts to supercharge the agency to go after working-class families, after giving the agency $80 billion to increase audits on taxpayers making less than $75,000. Americans will be powerless when the IRS completely controls the tax filing process from start to finish.
“Americans don’t want to give the IRS such sweeping control and authority, yet the Biden Administration refuses to listen. The announcement of a pilot program raises serious questions about how long the Biden Administration’s decision to move forward on such a program has been in the works, whether the agency had any intention of following Congress’ direction that this study be conducted in an independent and impartial way, and whether the IRS is acting outside the law in establishing a program that Congress has not authorized.”
- The Inflation Reduction Act requires an “independent third party” to report on “the overall feasibility, approach, schedule, cost, organization design, and Internal Revenue Service capacity to deliver such a direct efile tax return system.”
- To produce that report, President Biden’s IRS hired New America – an organization populated by Democrat Party operatives and other left-leaning officials – which has already stated “the government…can and should build this tool in the coming years.”
- The Biden Administration also appointed Ariel Jurow-Kleiman to assist in the supposedly “independent” review of the e-file proposal – an individual that is on the record openly championing the establishment of such a program at the IRS.
- An e-file program like that imagined in the IRA has been a long-time priority of Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to give the IRS control over both the filing and auditing of tax returns.
- The IRS has dragged its feet answering oversight requests from Ways and Means Republicans on how New America was selected and the e-file process, producing a grand total of two documents.
Cooked the Books: Study Preparers Already Supports IRS Running an E-File System
The study was conducted by New America, a left-leaning think tank stocked with Obama and Clinton operatives, and Professor Ariel Jurow-Kleiman:
- In March 2021, New America employees wrote favorably about Senator Warren’s Tax Simplification Act, which would set up a government-controlled filing system at the IRS.
- Professor Jurow-Kleiman has publicly stated, “the IRS should adopt the most expansive version of the program, one that includes the maximum amount of taxpayer information and requires the least amount of taxpayer input for each individual taxpayer.”
Complete Control: IRS Preparing Taxes Gives the Agency Control Over the Tax Process
An IRS e-file system would make this supercharged agency Americans’ tax preparer, filer, and auditor:
- Americans making less than $73,000 already can file their taxes for free.
- Democrats gave the IRS $80 billion to increase audits on working-class families, meaning families whose returns are prepared by the IRS will have to rely on IRS data to fight their audit.
- Survey shows that a majority of Americans are opposed to the IRS becoming both the tax filer and preparer.
Wall Street Journal: Cooking the IRS Study Books
Letter to Acting Commissioner: Smith, Schweikert Call Out Biden Administration for Cooking the Books on IRS E-File Study