IRS Enforcement Plan—All the Scrutiny $45.6 Billion Can Buy
In this article, Robert Kovacev discusses the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) strategic operating plan, announced April 6, which includes a new enforcement strategy backed by $45.6 billion in earmarked funding. The plan makes no secret of its intended targets: large corporations, large partnerships, and high-net-worth families. Kovacev argues that the IRS' aim to focus on large corporations, large partnerships, and high-net-worth families for enforcement means taxpayers in those categories need to start preparing for increased scrutiny in fiscal year 2026. An explicit goal of the IRS' plan is to increase audit rates for those target groups. There are already signs of stepped-up IRS hiring for enforcement roles. But there's much more to the new enforcement strategy than increased staffing. Kovacev discusses the two clear themes in the plan's enforcement strategy: centralization and data analytics. He concludes that taxpayers in the high-scrutiny categories must appreciate that increased IRS scrutiny is certain, and that early preparation is the best defense.