An inspector general’s report has revealed the Biden administration’s new $80 billion plan to hire 87,000 new IRS agents is facing a new challenge.
In addition to facing a backlog of unprocessed tax returns that accumulated after the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS is having difficulty hiring people who meet expectations.
The IRS Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says there aren’t enough applicants who are able to pass “required background checks.”
“A continued challenge the IRS faces is having to evaluate a high number of applicants in order to find successful candidates both willing to accept the job offer and also be able to pass the required background checks,” the inspector general said.
Out of more than 565,000 job applications received until early October, the IRS only recruited around 19,000 workers.
A background check is “a process a person or company uses to check a person’s criminal record, education, employment history, and other past activities in order to confirm their validity and make informed decisions,” according to GoodHire.
The Heritage Foundation’s Preston Brashers, a tax specialist, said it’s not shocking that the agency is having trouble filling positions.
“Even once they manage to make the hires, training will be a long process and the agency will continue to deal with attrition,” Brashers told The Washington Times.
“In fact, attrition may increase, and the quality of the typical IRS auditor will probably drop since the IRS won’t be able to be as selective in hiring if it expects to almost double the size of the agency in less than nine years.”
Earlier this month, House Republicans voted to cut funding for the IRS, following a pledge from newly-elected Speaker Kevin McCarthy to repeal the money approved by Congress last year, CNBC reported.
The bill, which passed along party lines, would rescind tens of billions allocated to the agency over the next decade through the Inflation Reduction Act passed in August.