Under the status quo, the United States will lose about $7 trillion in revenue over the next 10 years from taxes that are owed but not paid, largely from the wealthiest Americans. Over the past decade, the IRS’ ability to enforce the tax laws has been severely diminished by budget cuts and staff attrition, and the revenue service lacks the modern technology needed for effective enforcement and quality taxpayer service. Lacking enough experienced enforcement personnel to examine complex tax returns, such as those of wealthy individuals and large corporations, the IRS has focused a greater share of audits on low-income workers, with adverse implications for inequality and racial equity as well as federal revenues.
The Biden administration has proposed a major initiative to strengthen tax enforcement and make it more equitable by shifting enforcement resources in the direction of wealthy Americans and corporations. The key elements of this initiative are pending in Congress.
Please join the Center for American Progress and a distinguished panel including current and former Treasury and IRS officials to discuss the status of this initiative in the Build Back Better legislation as well as where we go from here.
We would love to hear your questions. Please submit any questions for our distinguished panel via email at CAPeventquestions@americanprogress.org. Live captioning will be available on Zoom and on the YouTube livestream.
Mara Rudman, Executive Vice President for Policy, Canter for American Progress
Fred Goldberg, Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service, 1989–1991
Chye-Ching Huang, Executive Director of the Tax Law Center, New York University
Jacob J. Lew, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 2013–2017
Natasha Sarin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, U.S. Treasury Department
Jean Ross, Senior Fellow for Economic Policy, Center for American Progress