(The Hill) – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has brought in $160 million in back taxes from wealthy taxpayers, amid a recent push to crack down on top income earners.
The agency said Friday that it had collected $122 million from 100 taxpayers, on top of the $38 million it collected from more than 175 high-income earners earlier this year.
The 100 taxpayers resulting in the latest haul are just a portion of the 1,600 individuals that the IRS is currently contacting for hundreds of millions of dollars in back taxes, according to the agency.
In one case, an individual was ordered to pay more than $15 million for falsifying personal expenses — including the construction of a 51,000-square-foot mansion, luxury cars, artwork, country club memberships and homes for his children — as deductible business expenses.
Another person was sentenced to more than four years in prison for fraudulently obtaining $5 million in COVID relief loans that he used to purchase multiple luxury cars.
The IRS touted recent investments from the Inflation Reduction Act for its latest enforcement efforts.
“Prior to the Inflation Reduction Act, more than a decade of budget cuts prevented the IRS from keeping pace with the increasingly complicated set of tools that the wealthiest taxpayers use to hide their income and evade paying their share,” the agency said in Friday’s press release.
“The IRS is now taking swift and aggressive action to close this gap,” it added.
However, the extra funding included in the Inflation Reduction Act has been whittled down, after Democrats agreed to scrap $20 billion of the $80 billion meant for IRS enforcement in order to reach a deal with Republicans to raise the debt ceiling this summer.