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Pascrell Hails New IRS Focus on Rich Tax Cheats

Historic initiative will elevate tax fairness while shielding regular American

PATERSON, NJ – Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, today celebrated the announcement by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that it would make prioritize targeting rich tax criminals. This action follows direct calls by Pascrell to use the Inflation Reduction Act to target monied scofflaws.

“This is big. Failure to prioritize fair tax enforcement has allowed too many rich Americans and big corporations to avoid paying their fair share and has undermined trust in our tax system,” said Congressman Pascrell. “With today’s announcement the IRS finally signals eagerness to end the two-tier tax system, stop millionaire tax cheats, and make a major dent in the tax gap. The IRS is using sharp tools provided by congressional Democrats in the historic Inflation Reduction Act – exactly as we intended. The American people must have faith that our tax system is administered fairly. Today the IRS takes a massive step to restore Americans’ confidence.”

This year, Pascrell has repeatedly urged the new IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel to address the growing tax gap.

As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight in the 117th Congress and Ranking Member in the 118th Congress, Pascrell has made fixing the IRS with a focus on fairness his top priority.  On February 18, 2021, in the Oversight panel’s first hearing of that Congress, Pascrell convened a hearing on “Free Tax Preparation Services During the Pandemic” to examine ways to make tax time easier for working Americans. On December 8, 2021, Pascrell convened a hearing on “Tax Havens in America and Hidden Wealth” to investigate ways the wealthy avoid paying their fair share. On February 8, 2022, Pascrell held a hearing on “Challenges Facing Taxpayers in the 2022 Filing Season” with the National Taxpayer Advocate. On May 18, 2022, Pascrell convened a hearing on “Tax Fairness and the IRS” where he unveiled a GAO report written at his request that found plummeting audit rates over the last decade, disproportionately benefiting wealthy Americans.

On March 9, 2023, Pascrell praised the confirmation of Werfel as the new Commissioner of the IRS. That same day, Pascrell led fellow Democratic members of the Oversight Subcommittee in a letter to IRS Commissioner Werfel urging him to direct IRA funding toward overhauling the agency’s entire auditing regime to ensure wealthy tax scofflaws and big business tax cheats pay their fair share. On March 10, 2023, Pascrell asked Secretary Janet Yellen about his letter during her testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, where she expressed a commitment to addressing his concerns.

On April 6, 2023, Pascrell praised the IRS spending plan to drastically improve operations, taxpayer services, and enforcement through the historic investment passed by congressional Democrats in the Inflation Reduction Act.

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