IRS Admits to Targeting Black Americans More Than Others Despite Biden’s ‘Racial Equity’ Pledge

The IRS admitted it targets black Americans far more than others groups despite President Joe Biden’s promise to pursue racial equity across his administration.

“While there is a need for further research, our initial findings support the conclusion that Black taxpayers may be audited at higher rates than would be expected given their share of the population,” IRS commissioner Daniel Werfel admitted in a letter to the Senate Finance Committee.

The admission comes months after a report revealed the agency’s propensity for auditing black taxpayers, who are three times more likely to be selected for scrutiny by the agency.

The same January report found poor people were five times more likely to be audited then the average wage earner.

The findings come more than two years after Biden signed an executive order to “strengthen racial equity” and support “underserved communities” through the federal government. The order was signed on his first day in office and called for an “ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda.”

“Over the past two years, agencies have taken historic steps toward ensuring that federal programs are serving the American people in an equitable and just manner,” a 2023 White House fact sheet on the executive order said.

The IRS is looking for ways to address its disproportional auditing, the New York Times reported:

Mr. Werfel said the I.R.S. had dedicated “significant resources” to determine the reasons for the disparity and evaluating the data that is available to the agency when deciding who to audit and its automated processes. He suggested that the I.R.S. could consider basing audits on “broader tax issues” rather than focusing on people who might be improperly claiming earned-income tax credits.

Mr. Werfel said he intended to use some of the $80 billion that has been dedicated to modernizing the I.R.S. to improving outreach to underserved communities and helping those taxpayers claim credits that are available to them. He added that the agency would also be working to reduce disparities in tax enforcement on the basis of gender, geography and ethnicity.

“The I.R.S. is committed to enforcing tax laws in a manner that is fair and impartial,” Mr. Werfel said. “When evidence of unfair treatment is presented, we must take immediate actions to address it.”

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