Militarized IRS Plays Victim, Announces Security Review amid Threats

(Headline USA) Responding to an increasing number of threats over the Biden administration’s new plan to aggressively target middle-income taxpayers with audits, the Internal Revenue Service announced Tuesday that it was conducting a comprehensive review of safety at its facilities.

The so-called Inflation Reduction Act signed into law by President Joe Biden last week included $80 billion in funding for tax collection efforts.

Although Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen specifically directed the agency to not focus its attention on taxpayers with middle class incomes, the administration’s past gaslighting on an array of issues has let many to question its credibility.

Actual fact-based assessments and job postings advertised by the federal government indicate that the agency’s conscripting of some 87,000 new agents, paired with its purchase of at least $725,000 in stockpiled ammunition, are pointing the way toward a crackdown on taxpayers of all earnings levels.

Now agency leadership has pushed back, framing itself as the victim of threats from outraged citizens, and has launched an examination of agency safety.

“We are conducting a comprehensive review of existing safety and security measures,” said Chuck Rettig, IRS commissioner about the agency’s 600 office locations nationwide. “This includes conducting risk assessments,” he said, by monitoring perimeter security, designations of restricted areas, exterior lighting, security around entrances of facilities and other measures.

“For me this is personal. I’ll continue to make every effort to dispel any lingering misperceptions about our work,” Rettig said in a Tuesday letter to employees. “And I will continue to advocate for your safety in every venue where I have an audience.”

Rettig, whose term at the IRS ends in November, is tasked with developing a plan on how to spend the new infusion of funds included in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Along with online forums, high-ranking Republican politicians raised alarm about the IRS workforce and how the newly allocated funds would be spent.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent an August 16 open letter to Americans, calling on them not to take any new IRS positions, reinforcing false information about open roles at the agency and their access to firearms.

“The IRS is making it very clear that you not only need to be ready to audit and investigate your fellow hardworking Americans, your neighbors and friends, you need to be ready and, to use the IRS’s words, willing, to kill them,” he said in the letter.

Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said members have been vocal about their fears and worries about their safety.

“IRS employees are certainly very hard working and honest, they do the business of funding the government,” he claimed, despite the agency’s notorious reputation for dysfunction and political bias spanning back to the Obama administration. “They’re saying they don’t deserve to be treated as the enemy of the government.”

He added that members who are of retirement age have expressed a greater desire to retire due to the increased attention on their jobs. More than half of the IRS’s enforcement workforce of 80,000 is retirement eligible.

Reardon said several workers have talked about being reminded of the 2010 Austin, Texas suicide attack, where Andrew Joseph Stack III deliberately crashed his single engine plane into the Echelon office building, killing himself and Internal Revenue Service manager Vernon Hunter.

“The rhetoric we’re hearing now is dangerous” Reardon said. “It’s putting these patriotic Americans at risk.”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press