Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Cutting the IRS Budget, Its More Dangerous Than You Think

No one likes paying taxes, even if the money does go to (some) good use. That, in turn, means that nobody likes the IRS, the agency that enforces those taxes. Hating the IRS, though, and lobbying to have its funding decreased isn’t targeting the right agency. The IRS isn’t really as responsible for those awful taxes you have to pay and those archaic tax laws you have to follow as Congress is.

See, Congress is responsible for creating and changing the tax codes, laws, and amounts. Its aim is to promote positive things, such as marriage and home ownership, by giving tax breaks to people who do them and to make things more difficult for people who don’t do the things they should, like saving up for retirement.

So, if you really want to blame an agency for the tax laws you don’t like, blame Congress...except
that doesn’t really work because Congress, in a twisted sort of way, would just blame it on the IRS. Yes, that’s right. Congress, which is responsible for most tax laws, often blames the IRS for things it doesn’t like and then cuts its budget as “punishment.” Does that sound fair or sensical to you?

Despite the fact that it’s not really right or fair for Congress to blame the IRS for its own shortcomings, its budget cuts hurt everyone. For starters, they reduce revenue for the Federal government by cutting the very funds the IRS uses to go after people who skip out on their taxes or commit tax fraud.

And the worst thing of all is that all of this pressure and loss of funding is only going to make the IRS more aggressive and more annoying. Since it won’t be able to go after as many fraudsters, it will have to come down super hard on those it does catch. This is all a big mess with the IRS getting the short end of the stick. Hopefully, before too much damage is done, Congress will realize that cutting IRS funding was a very, very bad idea.