Mark Matthews Comments on Potential IRS Enforcement Drop Due to Training New Agents in Law360

08.24.2022
Law360 Tax Authority

The IRS is set to receive billions in new funding to catch wealthy tax evaders, but the effects may not be visible for years and enforcement could initially drop as agency workers are pulled away to train new agents.

The Internal Revenue Service will receive $45.6 billion in enforcement funding as part of a nearly $80 billion funding increase included in the Inflation Reduction Act , Democrats' tax, climate and health care bill signed into law Aug. 16 by President Joe Biden.

. . .

Measures of enforcement performance often decline somewhat the first year or two after the agency receives new funding, said Mark Matthews, a former deputy commissioner of services and enforcement at the IRS and a former chief of the agency's Criminal Investigation division. That's because the most effective agents are typically taken offline to train new workers, said Matthews, who is now at Caplin & Drysdale.

"The programs with the longest training cycles like criminal investigation generally will take longer to show progress statistically," he said.

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