Kristi Noem, John Thune, and other Republicans who depend on manufactured fear rather than actual skill to keep their government jobs have claimed that that awesome budget deal that Democrats worked out last summer will sic an army of new IRS auditors on us.
The Internal Revenue Service announced last week that it has hired the first 4,000 of 5,000 anticipated new employees this year, and they all appear to be the kind of helpers Dusty Johnson told us last July we sorely need:
The Internal Revenue Service announced today significant progress to prepare for the 2023 tax filing season as the agency passed a milestone of hiring 4,000 new customer service representatives to help answer phones and provide other services.
These assistors have been hired over the last several months and are being trained to provide help to taxpayers, including answering phone questions. This is part of a much wider IRS improvement effort tied to the Inflation Reduction Act funding approved in August [Internal Revenue Service, press release, 2022.10.27].
The IRS is hiring all these people to help us pay our taxes correctly, not to track us down after April 15 for making mistakes. How nice!
Perhaps the IRS is signaling that it will make customer service more efficient with the fact that it has made its hiring more efficient:
IRS improvements and use of the new direct hire authority have speeded the hiring process. This year, these positions have been brought on since August; last year, it took approximately eight months to hire customer service representatives [IRS, 2022.10.27].
It’s all good fun to use government and the IRS in particular as a campaign punching bag. But if you want help with your taxes—free help that keeps your 1040 clean!—you should support the funding provided in the Inflation Reduction Act to hire more IRS staff and make taxpayer assistance more available.