- Elon Musk said on Twitter he has his taxes audited every year “by default.”
- He’d earlier posted a meme featuring a debunked Republican claim that the IRS is hiring 87,000 new agents.
- The meme appears to link the debunked IRS claim with the American War of Independence.
Elon Musk said Thursday that his taxes are audited every year “by default” after posting a meme featuring a debunked Republican claim about the IRS.
Republicans including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said this week that $80 billion in new funding for the IRS, from the new Inflation Reduction Act, would go towards hiring 87,000 new IRS agents. The claim has been debunked by several outlets.
Musk shared a meme on Twitter on Thursday with the caption: “When the country that revolted over taxes hires 87,000 new IRS agents,” accompanied by an image of a grinning redcoat. The meme appears to link the debunked IRS claim with the American War of Independence, which was sparked by colonists’ anger over British taxes.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 11, 2022
“Redcoat” is a colloquial term for a British soldier in the Revolutionary War.
A Twitter user responded to Musk’s post saying: “They’re not going after you, they’re coming for us.”
Musk replied: “True. I already get audited every year by default.”
Musk is currently the world’s richest person, according to Bloomberg, which estimates his wealth at $253 billion.
Last year, ProPublica published a bombshell report that found that Musk paid no federal income tax in 2018. His wealth grew by $14 billion from 2014 to 2018, but he only paid $455 million in taxes, ac coding to the report.
Senate Democrats have approved a huge climate, tax, and healthcare spending package which is set to provide the IRS with $80 billion over the next decade, with a focus on improving taxpayer services and cracking down on enforcement on wealthy people and big companies.
“The IRS has fewer front-line, experienced examiners in the field than at any time since World War II, and fewer employees than at any time since the 1970s,” IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a letter to the Senate in early August. With the funding package, “enhanced IT systems and taxpayer service will actually mean that honest taxpayers will be better able to comply with the tax laws, resulting in a lower likelihood of being audited and a reduced burden on them,” he added.
Insider’s Juliana Kaplan reported that the IRS is understaffed, underfunded, and backed up with unprocessed tax returns.
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