The Internal Revenue Service has collected $122 million in back taxes from high-income, high-wealth individuals in a new enforcement initiative, the agency said on Friday October 20, 2023.
The back taxes were collected from 100 high-income individuals the agency targeted in its effort to ramp up enforcement against people with more than $1 million in income who haven't filed taxes and those who have failed to pay more than $250,000 in tax debt, the IRS said in a statement.
Taxpayers The Agency is Pursuing in the Initiative,
Which it Announced in September.
The agency had previously collected $38 million from a group of 175 high-income taxpayers, it said.
"When I last updated you, we launched an effort to focus on high-end collection cases based specifically on wealthy taxpayers that owed hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes," Commissioner Daniel Werfel told reporters Thursday in a call previewing the announcement. "Well, we are already seeing results."
Closed cases include one in which a person was ordered to pay more than $15 million in restitution after falsifying millions of dollars of personal expenses as deductible business expenses, Werfel said.
The tax collection announcement came in an update from the IRS on enforcement activities and efforts to improve customer service.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., applauded the agency's enforcement and customer service accomplishments.
"Investing in the IRS is already paying off with better customer service for taxpayers and a real plan to crack down on the worst wealthy and corporate tax cheats," Wyden said in a statement Friday, later adding, "I'll continue to defend these enforcement efforts against the far-right's effort to roll back these plans and protect corporate malfeasance."
Lawmakers are still working to determine the agency's funding levels for the upcoming year. The IRS funding bill passed by the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee in July would give the agency , a $1.1 billion drop compared with the agency's fiscal 2023 budget. The Senate Appropriations Committee's IRS funding bill would , which is in line with the agency's current-year funding.
Werfel has warned repeatedly that if the agency has its annual funding cut in spending bills, it will need to use Inflation Reduction Act money to run day-to-day operations, which will exhaust resources intended to make improvements for taxpayers.
"We know that implementing such an ambitious plan is challenging, and we understand that our challenges are made even more stark by ongoing budget uncertainty," Werfel said Thursday. "That's why it's so important to continue reporting on the strides we're making to modernize and improve our service so that Congress and the American people know that we are investing our resources wisely and in ways that will help everyone and ensure fairness of the tax system."
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