WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers want the IRS to treat all Americans fairly and equitably, but fear the tax system is split into two tiers.
“There cannot be one tax system for the wealthy, and another for everyone else,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) said.
Pascrell worries the IRS isn’t being fair to average Americans.
“Millionaires and billionaires have vastly different experiences with the IRS than the average American,” Pascrell said.
A report from the Government Accountability Office found that while audit rates for taxpayers making more than $200,000 have declined, “the audit rates for taxpayers claiming the earned income tax credit is three times the average rate for all taxpayers,” GAO Strategic Division Director James McTigue said.
McTigue says the earned income tax credit is helpful to low- and moderate-income taxpayers but is often misused.
“Why does the IRS focus on low-income audits rather than those of the wealthy,” Pascrell asked.
“The one tool the IRS has to ensure compliance with the program is audits,” McTigue said.
Some lawmakers, like Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), say the problem isn’t new, and a fix will require more than just talk.
“I’d like to see us work on some solutions to address the drivers of the high earned income tax credit error rate,” Rice said.
IRS Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer Ken Corbin promised the IRS is focused on improving customer service by clearing the current tax backlog and modernizing the agency.
“To ensure the IRS meets the needs of all types of taxpayers and stakeholders who rely on us for information,” Corbin said.