By Bernie Becker - 02/14/11 06:12 PM EST
The budget calls for an increase, to $14 billion, in spending for the Treasury Department, in large part to support “new investments” in IRS compliance efforts that the administration says will help bring down the deficit.
The increased spending, the budget says, would also help the implementation of measures like the the health care overhaul, which sparked substantial changes in the tax code.
More specifically, the White House says the IRS investments would make the agency more responsive to taxpayers and modernizing its information technology system, among other things. The budget also says that the administration will look to close the gap between what taxes the government is owed and what it collects and to implement an IRS initiative that would bring greater oversight to paid tax preparers.
“The result will be a more nimble, responsive, data-driven IRS that is better able to manage the complex tax administration environment posed by a more global and interconnected economy,” the budget report says.
Washington Republicans have blasted the White House budget proposals, saying they would allow government spending to continue along an unsustainable path. But the president has said that what he terms investments would help the United States compete globally.
The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, in a recent report, also said that the IRS program on paid tax preparers is still years away from being fully operational.