Tax Inequity: Biden Administration’s Policies Disproportionately Target Low-Income and Minority Communities

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The Biden administration’s rhetoric about creating a more equitable tax system for Americans is at odds with its actual policies, which have been shown to disproportionately target low-income and minority communities.

While the White House claims to be working to reduce the tax gap and improve service delivery for taxpayers, the reality is that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been using its powers to audit and harass everyday Americans, rather than the wealthy and corporations.

Despite claims that the administration is committed to making the rich pay their fair share, the data suggests that the IRS is actually targeting the poorest and most vulnerable communities. According to ProPublica, the most highly targeted county in the nation by the IRS is Humphreys County, Mississippi, where one-third of residents live below the poverty line.

Furthermore, the IRS has a history of auditing low-income Americans at a higher rate than those in higher-income areas. As former IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig testified in 2019, auditing low-income Americans is “the most efficient use of available IRS examination resources.” This is because they do not have the resources to fight back as well, freeing up IRS staff to focus on more profitable audits.

The trend is even more alarming for minority communities, which are disproportionately targeted by the IRS. Of the 151 counties where ethnic minorities comprise majorities, 144 receive audit scrutiny above the national average.

The IRS has also been criticized for its handling of sensitive taxpayer data, including a recent leak of information on the tax-paying habits of wealthy Americans. The agency has a history of failing to secure its devices and has been slammed in reports by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

The administration’s empowerment of the IRS means that small businesses, working-class families, and vulnerable communities will be subject to increased audit scrutiny and harassment, all in the name of generating revenue for partisan ends.

Dan Savickas
Dan Savickas
Dan Savickas is director of policy for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

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