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Sen. Angus King Introduces Legislation To Go After High-Income "Tax Cheats"

Angus King
J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, arrives as the Senate holds the final vote to confirm Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden's pick to be secretary of Health and Human Services, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 18, 2021.

Maine Senator Angus King has introduced legislation that would order the IRS to go after high income tax cheats. The measure would allocate $80 billion over 8 years and bolster audit efforts.

Sen. King says that with the demand for money to invest in the nation’s infrastructure and other economic development programs, the IRS should do more audits of high-income earners and corporations. King told MSNBC on Thursday that tax increases should not be on the table when taxes are being under collected.

“Let’s collect the taxes the tax cheats aren’t paying. The estimates are from a half a trillion to a trillion dollars a year,“ King says.

The measure would direct the IRS to set audit rate goals for high-income individuals, corporations, and estates, and increase the penalties for tax noncompliance on taxpayers who earn more than $2 million a year of taxable income. King says most people pay what they owe, but the rich can afford professional help to avoid paying taxes they owe.

“Unfortunately in the last few years they have been focusing their audits on lower income people, are they cheating on the earned income tax credit where they will collect hundreds of dollars instead of on the high income high roller cheats where they could collect millions of dollars," King says.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.