The IRS Targets the Poor Because it is “Easier and Cheaper” Than Auditing the Wealthy

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The IRS has announced that it’s “too expensive” to audit the rich. Affluent taxpayers, the 1%, are too well protected from government intrusion. Their tax returns are complex and take more time and more experienced auditors to review them. The IRS then has to pay these more experienced auditors a higher price to audit those larger accounts. It’s become an expensive hassle for them. They encounter resistance from the teams that the affluent have behind them to defend them from the IRS. So, what is their solution?

Target the poor.

It is easier and cheaper for the IRS to go after the working class.

As if the struggling working class in this country doesn’t have enough to deal with, watch out for Big Brother! Because lower-income families have fewer resources to guard their finances, the IRS finds it a “better use of their resources” to target the poor instead of the wealthy. Because the wealthy have the means to fight back against government intrusion aka well-paid attorneys and accountants, the IRS has decided that any effort to monitor the “haves” is not worth their time. They will instead focus on the “have nots,” or the poor working and middle class.

It’s easier and cheaper to go after the poor and audit them. Those who make less money have fewer defenses to combat the IRS and their returns are simpler. It requires less expense and effort from the IRS to go after a much more fragile portion of our economy – the working poor.

It’s no surprise that the middle class in this country is disappearing at a rapid rate. One contributor is the mountainous debt that many Americans have saddled themselves with, especially when it comes to predatory student loan lenders. Some people are paying exorbitant interest on student loans when they didn’t even achieve a degree. This compounds the problem for the lower-income American that already exists: a country bordering on financial collapse.

What this doesn’t address is a hidden target in the sights of the IRS. Whom this really means the IRS is targeting: The Shadow Economy.

The IRS is targeting people who supplement their income with side hustles.

The Shadow Economy is made up mostly of the poorest in our economy, those struggling to get by even if it’s a two-income household. The industrious working poor who struggle to pay their bills, even on two incomes, turn to the side-hustle to make it.

Over 50% of Americans have a side-hustle. What was once the oddity of the entrepreneur is now mainstream. There are a lot of factors that may have contributed to this, including stagnant income growth nationwide and the rising cost of living. But the fact is, most Americans are now using a side hustle to cover household bills because their day job is just not enough.

The side hustle has exploded in the American economy over the last decade, and the IRS has taken note and put us in their sights. Because apparently hard-working people are “bad” for the economy.

Not all side-hustles are part of the Shadow Economy, but many are. A side-hustle becomes part of The Shadow Economy when it’s paid for in cash under the table. The side-hustle is the growing movement in the United States of the freelance worker and gig economy. Sometimes it’s on the books, but oftentimes, it is not. And here is where the “side hustle” meets “The Shadow Economy” and becomes a means for those who are pinched in our struggling economy to get by.

The government is targeting those who need to keep every penny.

The Wall Street Journal spouts doom and gloom with its definition of The Shadow Economy saying that because those who operate their business under the table with cash-only can potentially hurt the overall economy. But it’s also a larger issue of governmental control.

Think for second who would be driven to this kind of enterprise. If you can’t find a job or you’ve already got one, but it doesn’t pay the bills, what are you going to do? Get a side-hustle.

Anything I do personally, I keep above board. I pay taxes. But people who are desperate are often driven to operate outside of the law. Desperate people who are already working two jobs and still falling behind probably aren’t going to be thinking about Uncle Sam looking over their shoulder.

And the US government, instead of addressing the growing desperation of the American workforce that’s behind the boom of the “side hustle,” has put them in its sights.

The IRS is targeting the most desperate in our failing economy rather than going after “the big guys” and fighting their many well-paid attorneys and CPAs. It’s the equivalent of the police going after a kid selling lemonade on the sidewalk instead of the home break-in down the block.

It’s an easier target with far less resistance.

Does the government want to keep us broke and powerless?

Consider this. It’s in the government’s best interest to keep people from bettering their lives if they don’t want to relinquish control. If citizens are self-sufficient and financially stable, they might have the time and energy to fight back or question motives. But no, if the populous is off balance and hungry they focus on surviving day to day and don’t ask questions.

So, those who want control send the IRS after the poor just struggling to get by. They ignore the elite because they are too time-consuming and expensive to go after.

Instead, the IRS has decided to double down on the most desperate and vulnerable in our society.

I know you might be thinking, what about illegal workers or drug dealers who may be paid under the table?

If that’s the case, that still leaves the IRS going after desperate workers instead of the corrupt employers and drug lords…who would take too much “time” and “money” to go after. Instead, they are really targeting drug addicts and those who are being preyed upon by the demand for cheap labor.

Of course, paying taxes is a law. It’s not a law that I’m going to break. But for some people getting paid under the table is the only way to make ends meet. Consider those on disability. If they “make too much” they will lose their check. But many times, those on disability can only work sporadically and on bad months they cannot work. Without their check they can’t make ends meet. They aren’t allowed to work, but they don’t want to starve either, so they work, but don’t declare their income so they can keep their disability checks.

Of course, we should follow the law. Of course, we should pay taxes. But with this kind of discrimination by the IRS against the poor, where is “all men are created equal?” And who among us should be considered above the law?

What do you think?

What do you think about the IRS’s admission that they are targeting the poor? Do you think their methods of determining audits are discriminatory? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

About Jenny Jayne

Jenny Jayne is the mother of two wonderful boys on the Autism spectrum and is passionate about Autism Advocacy. She is a novelist who writes Post-apocalyptic fiction and a freelance writer. Her first novel is coming soon to Kindle eBooks near you. Her guilty pleasures are preparing for hurricanes, drinking hot coffee, eating milk chocolate, reading romances, and watching The Office for the 50th time. Her website:

Jenny Jayne

Jenny Jayne

About Jenny Jayne Jenny Jayne is the mother of two wonderful boys on the Autism spectrum and is passionate about Autism Advocacy. She is a novelist who writes Post-apocalyptic fiction and a freelance writer. Her first novel is coming soon to Kindle eBooks near you. Her guilty pleasures are preparing for hurricanes, drinking hot coffee, eating milk chocolate, reading romances, and watching The Office for the 50th time. Her website:

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  • Those on government checks are not filing taxes anyway. Those that don’t file taxes don’t get audited. Plus if you have kids the EIC makes it worth your while to declare even money made under the table.

  • Perhaps they need to have in house auditors to audit the rich. If they are paying outside auditors, it’s going to cost more. Or perhaps have the rank and file auditors audit everyone under a certain amount and have the supervisors of those auditors audit the rich and powerful. Or we could just enact a flat tax with no exemptions. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about having super experienced auditors!

  • “Does the government want to keep us broke and powerless?”

    A) There’s no such thing as “the government”. It’s just a bunch of tax fattened parasites who want to take your money so they can run your life

    B) So yes, “the government” does damned well want us all to be broke and powerless. The weaker we get, the more power they have. Which is the main reason most of them got into “the government” racket in the first place.

    EVERYTHING they do to We The People, they test out on the poorest and weakest members of society, or they use them as the justification for what they do to us. The opioid crisis hitting rural and middle America has an ancestor in the crack cocaine epidemic in the inner cities in the 80s and 90s. They beat them fellers down into the pavement back then, and they’re doing their level best to give all the rest of us the very same treatment.

  • Trump could fix this with one call to Mnuchin. The IRS can, literally overnight, be compelled not to audit poor people disproportionately. The fact that no such call has been made is just proof that Trump has no clue what’s going on (or doesn’t care), and Mnuchin either also has no clue, or he’s an arrogant tyrannical statist. Don’t let these guys off the hook. It’s really not that hard to fix the IRS or any other bloated, government-is-god federal agency. Just start firing the money-sucking whale turds by the bushel, and voila!

  • I suffered a IRS audit. One aspect of selecting who you are going to audit, is most certainly the quality of the audit staff. Like the armed forces, the IRS should limit is recruitment to those who’s IQ is above 83. I can attest, based on personal experience, that some IRS audit staff should be immediately fired, and replaced by people held to higher standards.

  • Selecting the poor to audit may be one strategy in maximizing income, selecting the old is another.

    What political philosophy promotes this IRS tactic? Lois Lerner might be a excellent person to consult in the matter. ,

  • Easier and cheaper, unless of course, your name is Donald J Trump and then the sky’s the limit to audit him every year.

  • Not an honest article.
    The bottom 45% don’t pay any federal tax, mostly thanks to Trump’s tax cut that gave a very large standard deduction to everyone. It’s the middle class getting screwed, not the ‘most desperate and vulnerable in our society’.
    Dedicate a few auditors to the rich and do it.

  • I believe this 100%. I was audited and told that I now owe $11K because I didn’t claim all of my 1099 earnings. At the time, I was supporting 4 people (two of whom were in college full-time) on $60K. Unfortunately, because of my limited salary, I was living paycheck to paycheck with no savings. Where the f**k am I gonna get $11K. So now I have to hire an expensive accountant to work this out for me. Now that I’m salaried, I’m paying as much as I can in taxes, plus an extra $25 every paycheck as a gesture of goodwill. Think the IRS will notice? Prob not.

  • It may be easier and cheaper to target the poor, but the “take” is a lot less.
    More than likely, their attack costs more than they could ever get from them.
    Typical bureaucrats. Why work for a living?

  • Jenny, you need to move to Australia.
    Our governments are not greedy like yours, and we have a perfect blend of socialism and free market capitalism.

  • For several years in the mid-2000’s, every year after i filed my taxes, i’d get a letter like this from the IRS: “You owe us $1.25! But we’ll let you off the hook.” “You owe 85 cents! But we’ll let you off the hook.” I was never summoned to an audit, but obviously someone at the IRS was going over my returns with the proverbial fine-toothed comb during those years. How much money did they waste on this effort to nail me. So yes, i do believe the IRS harasses the poor and middle-class, and not the rich.

  • There is no income tax law it never passed the house committee back than, and the IRS is not part of the government it is a privet company to make the bankers like the Morgans. the Rothschild, and the others wealthier . the IRS is a mafia type organization that should be eliminated

  • I was laid off from a job 20 years ago. It seems that they believe I didn’t file taxes, when I was fairly sure I stopped filing when there was nothing to file, which is perfectly legal. But now, having spent 20 years suffering, barely struggling at times, to even have shelter, food, and basic needs, my despair, from unemployment has led health problems, mental and physical. So they continue to pursue with a great amount of late charges, $20,000 x 2, that I can never see myself being able to pay them. I cannot afford a lawyer and this has become more of a hardship for me as this has forced me to lose all hope.

    You ask what I think of your story? I think our entire structure is focused on those who have money and would not doubt any idea that we poor are meant to be casualties. Prisoners of poverty, if you will. The poor are targeted just for living in their neighborhoods and made into criminals, with the help of the I.R.S. and certain police departments/stations. If you live there you must be a criminal, as profiling happens, and I will tell you, it is about being poor, not about race. (not always.)

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