The IRS received roughly $12.15 billion in funding in fiscal 2010, the last time Congress enacted appropriations for the agency. The White House had requested $12.6 billion for the IRS in its 2011 request.
Still, it remains to be seen what the debate over fiscal 2012 spending will mean for the IRS, after President Obama requested $13.3 billion for the agency for next year.
Both Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Doug Shulman, the IRS commissioner, have argued that, in effect, increased funding for the agency more than pays for itself, as it allows the IRS to more efficiently correct revenue.
“The customer service and enforcement programs at the IRS provide one of the best values in the federal government,” Geithner said in prepared testimony for a March appearance before a congressional panel. “Every dollar invested in IRS yields nearly five dollars in increased revenue from non-compliant taxpayers.”
But when the White House released its budget in February, some Republicans expressed skepticism about giving the agency a roughly 9 percent funding increase over 2010 levels, which reportedly would add another 5,000 IRS employees.
“'I’m from the IRS. I’m here to help you,'” Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) said at a House Budget Committee hearing shortly after President Obama’s budget was released. “That’s hard to sell in the state of Missouri.”