WASHINGTON - Every dollar the Internal Revenue Service spends for audits, liens and seizing property from tax cheats brings in more than $10, a rate of return so good the Obama administration wants to boost the agency's budget.
House Republicans, seeing the heavy hand of a too-big government, beg to differ. They’ve already voted to cut the IRS budget by $600 million this year and want bigger cuts in 2012.
The IRS has dramatically increased its pursuit of tax cheats in the past decade. President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress see stepped up enforcement as a good way to narrow the nation’s staggering budget deficit without raising tax rates or cutting popular spending programs.
“It makes little sense to cut the agency that collects revenue,” said Rep. Jose Serrano of New York, the top Democrat on the House subcommittee that oversees the IRS budget.
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IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman told the committee Tuesday that the $600 million cut in this year’s budget would result in the IRS collecting $4 billion less through tax enforcement programs.