MATTHEWS: Republicans have every right to fear the coming IRS expansion

FILE - The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington, on March 22, 2013. One of Washington's favorite punching bags, the Internal Revenue Service, may finally get the resources it's been asking Congress for if Democrats get their economic package focused on energy and health care over the finish line. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

One of the most laughable talking points coming from Democrats in the aftermath of President Joe Biden’s signing of the bogusly named “Inflation Reduction Act” is that Republicans are making mountains out of molehills over the $80 billion in new funding given to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to, among other things, add close to 87,000 new agents to their roster. 

The left’s responses whenever the issue comes up are to either falsely claim that the new agents will only target the super-rich for audits or to suggest that if Republicans have nothing to hide then they shouldn’t be afraid of a little phone call or knock on the door from the IRS just to make sure they’re on the up and up. 

For starters, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that at least $20 billion from future audits from the beefed-up IRS will come from those making less than $400,000 a year, with much of that amount actually coming from those making under $200,000 a year. 

Further, anyone suggesting people have nothing to fear as long as they haven’t done anything wrong has a) never had to go through an IRS audit and/or b) doesn’t get that saying such things is a whole lot like telling someone that they have nothing to fear from the police and investigators questioning them without a lawyer present as long as they’ve done nothing wrong. 

Not only that, but because our tax code is so massive and burdensome, it’s easy to make an honest mistake on a tax return — and an honest mistake is a far cry from doing something deliberate to avoid paying your taxes. So no, this is not about tax cheats wanting to get away with fudging numbers; this about honest people not wanting to go through the ordeal — which includes a lot of lawyers and a lot of stressful nights worrying and digging through paperwork — of an IRS audit. 

Consider this, too: In addition to all the new IRS agents, as of the beginning of this year, companies such as PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App now have to report all transactions per taxpayer that total over $600 to the IRS. All of that will be treated as income on which you will be taxed. It will be up to you to prove your son was just reimbursing you for all the dinners and lunches during the year he didn’t pay for. 

Last but not least, after what happened to Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status under the Obama-Biden administration with the IRS ultimately apologizing in 2017 for “screening their applications based on their names or policy positions, [and] subjecting those applications to heightened scrutiny and inordinate delays,” Republicans have every right to be alarmed over the IRS doubling in size. 

Here’s an idea for Democrats who have been spouting off the “nothing to fear” and “only targeting the super-rich” pablum: As a gesture of good faith, step up and volunteer to be audited, no matter how long it takes, no matter how much digging you have to do, whether you make over $400,000 a year or not. After all, if you’ve done nothing wrong, what’s the problem? 

And when we’re done with that, we can start auditing the federal government to see if they’ve been responsible in how they’ve spent our hard-earned tax dollars. Because if there’s fraud and underhandedness in this country to be found, that would be the absolute best place to start. 

But what needs to be done before all of that is something that is long overdue: We must simplify the U.S. tax code. I repeat: We must simplify the U.S. tax code. 

North Carolina native Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a media analyst and regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.