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Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday introduced legislation that would help the IRS pursue wealthy tax cheats and close the tax gap.

Why it matters: The bill would increase the IRS's budget to $31.5 billion so the agency can bolster efforts to go after wealthy people who aren't paying the taxes they owe. The announcement follows President Biden's own proposal to strengthen tax enforcement as a way to pay for infrastructure spending.

  • Budget cuts in the last decade have caused staffing shortages and declines in audit rates, including for wealthy individuals and corporations, The Hill reports.
    • A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that the top 1% of Americans fail to report more than a fifth of their income on tax returns. They also account for over a third of all unpaid federal income tax.
    • "This underreporting has helped drive the tax gap - the difference between taxes owed and taxes paid - to exceed an estimated $1 trillion annually," according to Warren's office.
  • Warren's bill would more than double the agency's peak budget in 2010. The money could go toward taxpayer services and technology updates in addition to enforcement.

What she's saying: "For too long, the wealthiest Americans and big corporations have been able to use lawyers, accountants, and lobbyists to avoid paying their fair share — and budget cuts have hollowed out the IRS so it doesn't have the resources to go after wealthy tax cheats," Warren, who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement.

Go deeper

House Democrats pass $3.5 trillion budget resolution

Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

House Democrats passed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution on Tuesday, 220-212, advancing the party’s effort to pass a sweeping economic package that would expand the nation’s social safety net.

Why it matters: Democrats now will be able to use the budget reconciliation process to pass a bill — likely later this fall — by a simple majority, tackling key priorities like health care, child care and climate change.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.