The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now hiring agents for its criminal investigation division that must carry a firearm and be ready to “use deadly force if necessary,” a frightening development given that the agency’s budget has just been boosted by $80 billion in the recent so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which it turns out had very little to do with inflation at all.
The posting has been up since February and is looking for “special agents” for its “law enforcement branch, which investigates financial crimes.
“No matter what the source, all income earned, both legal and illegal, has the potential of becoming involved in crimes which fall within the investigative jurisdiction of the IRS Criminal Investigation,” the post reads. “Because of the expertise required to conduct these complex financial investigations, IRS Special Agents are considered the premier financial investigators for the Federal government.”
The post also says that the agents will be trained to “follow the money,” whatever that means.
Huge budget increase
The special agents, if selected, will attend a special training academy. No college degree appears to be required for these employees, who will be paid between 50,704 – $89,636 for the role.
Here are the duties listed for the position:
- Adhere to the highest standards of conduct, especially in maintaining honesty and integrity.
- Work a minimum of 50 hours per week, which may include irregular hours, and be on-call 24/7, including holidays and weekends.
- Maintain a level of fitness necessary to effectively respond to life-threatening situations on the job.
- Carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary.
- Be willing and able to participate in arrests, execution of search warrants, and other dangerous assignments.
The ill-named Inflation Reduction Act included $80 billion in funding for the IRS over 10 years, including funding for large amounts of weapons and ammunition. The IRS’s current budget is only $12.5 billion per year.
The huge increase would also be used to hire 87,000 more IRS employees; if all of them are agents, this would more than double their ranks.
Going after average Americans
Despite reassurances that the agents would only be going after the super-rich, experts speculate that there are not enough super rich to need that many more agents, and that those of average income and those making under $200,000 would also need to be targeted to meet the $203 billion in projected revenue the funding is expected to generate.
President and CEO of tax resolution firm Levy and Associates Lawrence Levy told CNBC that brand new agents would not likely be going after large corporations right away because of the newness of their training, which leaves them to audit much lower-earning taxpayers.
“You’re not going to give a new trainee General Motors, for example,” he said. “It just isn’t going to happen.”
Does this mean armed IRS agents are going to be unleashed on modest and moderate-income Americans? Such a scenario would be horrific for the country and could create a hostile environment in the future.