April 13, 2021

Wealthy Individuals and Corporations Brace for Increased IRS Oversight Under Biden Budget

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Executive Summary:

President Biden reveals FY 2022 discretionary funding request, emphasizing a need for a substantial (10%) increase in IRS funding in order to expand its oversight of high-net worth individuals and corporations.

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On April 9, 2021, the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, issued a letter to the Committee on Appropriations, presenting President Biden’s request for fiscal year (FY) 2022 discretionary funding.¹ The President’s request is made in the context of what’s described therein as four compounding and unprecedented crises as follows: “a historic global pandemic; an economy battered by recession; the generational crisis of climate change; and persistent inequities in the economy and Nation.”²

For our purposes, we highlight here the President’s discretionary funding request intended to increase IRS oversight of high-income individuals and corporations such that the IRS can ensure that those groups “pay what they owe and play by the same rules as everybody else.”³ With that goal in mind, President Biden’s 2022 discretionary request includes $14.9 billion for Treasury—equaling a $1.4 billion or 10.6% increase from the 2021 level which was enacted.

Of that amount requested for Treasury, President Biden requests that $13.2 billion be allocated to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), specifically. This amount would represent a $1.2 billion or 10.4% increase above 2021’s enacted level. According to the President, this added revenue would allow the IRS to increase its oversight of both wealthy individuals’ and corporate tax returns. Expanded oversight in this area is expected to result in:

  • increased compliance
  • new and improved online tools for more streamlined taxpayer/IRS communication
  • higher quality telephonic and in-person taxpayer custom service
  • greater outreach and assistance to underserved communities⁴

Moreover, besides increased base IRS enforcement funding, the President’s request “provides an additional increase of $417 million in funding for tax enforcement as part of a multiyear tax initiative that would increase tax compliance and increase revenues.”⁵

In total, the 2022 discretionary request is projected to increase resources for tax enforcement by $0.9 billion.

We would remind our readers that the request includes discretionary funding proposals only—clearly it reflects the administration’s priorities, but any actual funding levels will be implemented by Congress. The letter indicates that the President’s forthcoming Budget will include major, complementary mandatory investments and tax reforms as part of a comprehensive, fiscally responsible plan to meet the Nation’s challenges.”⁶

If you have questions or concerns about the discretionary funding request, please contact our team by calling (410) 497-5947 or requesting a consult online.


  1. You can read the letter in full at:https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/FY2022-Discretionary-Request.pdf.
  2. Id. at 1.
  3. Id. at 5.
  4. Id. at 29.
  5. Id.
  6. Id. at 1.
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