WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen will make her first visit to an Internal Revenue Service facility on Thursday as the Biden administration embarks on an $80 billion overhaul of the tax collection agency.
Ms. Yellen plans to tour the I.R.S. offices in New Carrollton, Md., and give a speech to employees there about plans to modernize the agency, according to a Treasury official. The building there houses about 7,500 I.R.S. staff who are focused mostly on information technology services.
The visit is part of a push by Ms. Yellen and other top Biden administration officials to promote President Biden’s economic agenda ahead of the November midterm elections. As part of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act that Congress passed last month, the I.R.S. will receive $80 billion of funding over the next decade to bolster its enforcement and upgrade its customer service and computer systems.
The investment in the agency is projected to generate more than $120 billion in additional revenue to the federal government by narrowing the $7 trillion shortfall of taxes that are projected to go uncollected over the coming decade.
“This funding will also help correct a two-tiered tax system by ensuring that large corporations and high-income earners cannot avoid paying the taxes they owe,” Ms. Yellen said during a speech in Michigan last week. “The tax gap — the amount of money that is owed but not paid to the I.R.S. — is huge.”
The funding for the I.R.S. has been a contentious political matter, with Republican critics suggesting that the Biden administration is building up a “shadow army” of armed agents that will bully small businesses and the middle class. The I.R.S. has had to beef up security at its facilities out of concern for the safety of its staff.
Ms. Yellen, in her speech, will discuss the improvements in service that taxpayers can expect in the short term and lay out how the additional resources are intended to ensure that rich Americans and big companies pay the taxes they owe.