Two-thirds favor boosting IRS enforcement: survey

IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Greg Nash

About two-thirds of registered voters favor boosting the IRS’s budget to increase tax enforcement on high-income taxpayers, which President Biden has proposed as a way to help pay for Democrats’ multitrillion-dollar social spending plan, according to a recent University of Maryland poll.

The survey comes as Democrats are crafting the spending bill and aiming to pass the forthcoming legislation this month. Biden proposed earlier this year that such a package could be financed in part by providing the IRS with an additional $80 billion over a decade.

The survey presented respondents with a briefing of the issue and a description of a proposal on IRS funding based on Biden’s plan. It then asked respondents to provide their opinion about arguments for and against the proposal and asked whether they supported or opposed it.

Sixty-eight percent of voters said they support the IRS enforcement proposal, while 31 percent said they opposed it.

Eighty-eight percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents said they favored the proposal. Roughly 46 percent of Republicans said they supported the proposal, while 52 percent said they were opposed. 

Majorities of voters in both very Republican and very Democratic congressional districts, determined based on the Cook Political Report’s partisan voter index, said they supported the proposal.

“As Congressional negotiators search for ways to pay for the reconciliation budget plan, they are likely to get a positive response from a majority of voters, and nearly half of Republicans, if they increase the IRS budget to support enforcement, especially with high-income earners,” Steven Kull, director of the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, said in a statement.

The online poll was conducted from July 29 to August 23, and 2,613 registered voters participated. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

Tags Internal Revenue Service IRS IRS enforcement Joe Biden tax dodging Tax investigation
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