IRS Establishes New Office to Root Out Tax Cheaters

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The IRS put tax cheats on notice Monday, launching the Office of Promoter Investigations to bolster its crackdown on tax avoiders and make them pay up.

Lois Deitrich, a 20-year IRS veteran, was named acting director of the new office. It will be part of the IRS’ small business/self employed division (SB/SE), but its work will include agency-wide compliance issues, expanding efforts of Promoter Investigations Coordinator Brendan O'Dell that began last year.

Last week, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig told the Senate Finance Committee he believes tax cheats now cost the U.S. around $1 trillion each year in revenue, more than double the agency’s last official estimates from 2011-2013. And with a $1.7 trillion federal budget deficit in the first six months of fiscal year 2021 and more spending plans on the table, collecting the taxes owed by cheaters has become a priority for President Joe Biden and the IRS.

Biden has committed to investing more money in the IRS to give it the resources to track down cheaters. In the last decade, the IRS has lost 17,000 enforcement personnel due to budget cuts, said Rettig.

"By establishing the Office of Promoter Investigations, we are continuing our increased focus on promoters of abusive tax avoidance transactions, which we have demonstrated over the last year," said Rettig in a statement.