January 13, 2023
BLAINE’S BULLETIN: TAX SEASON 2023
I think most of America would agree the IRS could use some lessons in efficiency. As with most government agencies, it’s riddled with red tape and bureaucracy. The pandemic put a spotlight on its shortcomings with field offices closing down for months while Missourians waited for their tax returns that went untouched for far too long. Many people are still having issues with their taxes from the last few years as the historic tax return backlog unfortunately remains. In fact, we still have people waiting for their 2019 tax returns. When the Biden Administration proposed an additional $80 billion for the IRS in its so-called Inflation Reduction Act, you would think most of that would go toward addressing the backlog and increasing efficiency to avoid future problems. Of course, we quickly found out that was not the case.
When Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act with no Republican votes, it was made clear that the $80 billion was for an additional 87,000 IRS agents whose jobs are to initiate audits on American citizens. To put that into perspective, the increase in agents would make the IRS bigger than the Pentagon, State Department, FBI, and Border Control combined. There are two important points to keep in mind. First, these new agents aren’t only going after wealthy tax cheats, as the Administration claimed. In fact, when an amendment was offered to restrict the agents from targeting families making under $400,000 – President Biden promised none of this would affect people making under that amount – every Senate Democrat voted against it and defeated the amendment. Second, the IRS does not have to provide cause for an audit, nor does it reimburse you for the expense of proving your own innocence. So, the IRS can randomly pick a family or small business – which they’ll have to do to keep 87,000 people busy – and begin an audit. At that point, you have to hire an accountant and/or lawyer to help you satisfy the various requirements of the audit. This can take months, sometimes years. After countless hours and thousands of dollars spent, the best case scenario is the IRS finds nothing wrong with your tax returns and you have to swallow the costs you incurred for absolutely no reason. That is the reason last year, House Republicans committed passing a bill to block this massive expansion of power.
This week, House Republicans made good on our promise by passing the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act. This bill, which was the first bill passed by the House this Congress, revokes funding for the Biden Administration’s proposed army of 87,000 IRS agents. Our border is being overrun by illegal immigration and fentanyl, and violent crime surging in every city in America. The Administration and my colleagues in Congress should spend as much effort protecting the American people as they do on trying to extort them. While I believe the best thing to do with that $80 billion is to not spend it, think of the good we could with just a fraction of that going to help our agents on the border trying to do their jobs, or the police officers in our communities who risk their lives every day to keep us safe.
Speaking of the IRS, tax season is just around the corner and it’s a great time to get a head start. As we’ve seen with the last three tax seasons, IRS operations move at a snail’s pace, particularly with paper returns. So, I encourage you to file as early as you can. And if you’re able to file online, you’ll likely get your money back much more quickly. It removes a whole step from the process and helps ensure your taxes are filed instantly rather than relying on the postal service and then waiting for the IRS to go through it.
Tips for filing your taxes this year can be found at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-tax-tips. Once you file, you can check the status of your return here: https://www.irs.gov/refunds. And please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office should you run into issues. Tax filing has been more complicated than usual with pandemic-era initiatives like Economic Impact Payments, Child Tax Credits, Recovery Rebate Credits and general delays within the IRS. We’re here to be a liaison to make the process as painless as possible, so give us a call.
CONTACT US: I encourage you to visit my official website or call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter and Instagram.