Wednesday, February 05, 2003
How will this be spun?: Bush's proposed budget increases funding for IRS audits. An increasing number of IRS audits would certainly target the wealthy, as the article makes clear.
The administration identified five areas to which more resources would be devoted to stem tax cheating: abusive corporate tax shelters; unreported income among higher-income taxpayers; failure by employers to turn over taxes withheld from paychecks or even to withhold them; misuse of trusts and offshore accounts to hide income; and "tax denial" schemes that are based on claims that the tax code does not apply to most Americans.
The proposal is a first step toward reversing a long decline in enforcement of the tax laws. It could bring in billions of dollars owed to the government and would also help the states, which rely on Internal Revenue Service enforcement much more than on their own audits.
So much for the Bush administration only being interested in protecting their wealthy friends.
To be fair, the additional funding is not all that IRS commissioner Charles Rossotti deems necessary -- but that should really be no surprise. After all, with the exception of the military and, possibly, homeland security -- no federal agency is getting everything they want when it comes to the federal budget.