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Adding Bite to its Bark: IRS Announces Hiring of 3,700 to Audit Wealthy Taxpayers

By Anthony P. Daddino on September 18, 2023
IRS enforcement rhetoric is never a hollow threat. But given the IRS’ limited resources historically, the saying “a barking dog seldom bites” sometimes held true. That is no longer the case, with the IRS announcing the opening of more than 3,700 positions to support its latest initiative to expand tax enforcement against high-income earners, partnerships, large corporations and promoters.

According to a September 15th press release (linked HERE), these compliance positions will be open in more than 250 locations nationwide and is part of a larger effort to add “fairness” to the tax system, which the IRS interprets as increasing audit coverage among wealthy taxpayers. The hiring will be for higher-graded revenue agents, which are specialized technical positions that generally focus on audits.

"This is another important step for the IRS as we work to transform the agency and make improvements," said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “This next wave of hiring will help the IRS add key talent like tax accountants to help reverse a decade-long decline of audits for the wealthy as well as complex partnerships and corporations. These new employees will be focused on higher-income and complex tax areas like partnerships, not average taxpayers making less than $400,000."

According to the press release, the IRS is not looking for newly minted college graduates. Rather, the IRS is seeking “mid-career professionals with specialized experience and education” in the financial services industry -- such as tax accountants, forensic accountants auditors, controllers and treasurers. The open position will be at the General Schedule GS-13 level in the federal civil service system, which translates into an annual salary of about $125,000 or $175,000 with benefits.

It will certainly take time for the IRS to hire and train these new hires. But at the risk of mixing metaphors, one thing is certain: The IRS is putting its money where its mouth is.

If you have any questions about this blog post or any other tax-related topic, feel free to contact me at (214) 749-2464 or adaddino@meadowscollier.com.