The IRS is looking for people who are qualified to use weapons for the tax collecting agency’s Criminal Unit, as enforcement actions are projected to expand due to a recent funding boost.
Candidates for the special agent position, which is the only job at the IRS that allows staff to carry guns, will be asked to combine their “accounting skills with law enforcement skills to investigate financial crimes,” according to a job posting on the IRS website. Individuals applying for the job must be “legally allowed to carry a firearm” and “maintain a level of fitness necessary to effectively respond to life-threatening situations on the job.”
Employees of the Criminal Unit must also be competent to “use firearms in life-threatening situations” up to and including “deadly force.” According to the job application link, there are over 360 vacancies for the role in approximately 250 locations across the United States, with wages ranging from $53,900 to $94,200.
The IRS job advertising comes as the agency prepares to treble its personnel over the next decade as a result of the $80 billion windfall provided by the Inflation Reduction Act. The IRS will hire for the role through the end of the year, with staff members required to work at least 50 hours a week and be available at all hours of the day.
Over the past several months, Biden administration officials have claimed that the increased funds will allow IRS staff to more easily assist individuals and businesses attempting to properly file their taxes. Nonetheless, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed in a report that the agency’s budget for enforcement activities will rise 69% over the next decade, while the budget for taxpayer services will rise 9%.
House Republicans successfully voted to remove the $80 billion allotment at the start of the new Congress, but the repeal is unlikely to prevail in the evenly divided Senate and would almost surely be vetoed by President Joe Biden.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has promised that the new funds will not be used to raise audit rates for people earning less than $400,000 per year “relative to historical levels.” She forgot to mention that “historical levels” of enforcement were significantly higher just a decade ago: audit rates for Americans earning between $25,000 and $200,000 plummeted 76% between 2010 and 2019, according to GAO statistics.
Increased audits for middle-income households are also possible, as total household tax refunds are expected to fall from $222 billion last year to $199 billion this year.
Parents are no longer eligible for the advance child tax credit, which is an extension of the child tax credits previously enacted by the American Rescue Plan, and taxpayers who did not get stimulus cheques are no longer eligible for the recovery rebate credit.
The White House’s federal budget proposal, revealed last month, would also provide the IRS with an additional $43 billion windfall. Members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative Republicans, first pledged to vote against extending the debt ceiling unless the agency’s $80 billion allotment was repealed.