The Internal Revenue Service has spent tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars purchasing guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment.
Reports of the agency’s massive spend on weapons and combat equipment appear to be at odds with its stated purpose of “providing America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities.” It also resurfaces as President Joe Biden deploying 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents to audit Americans.
Prior to the minting of President Biden’s nearly 100,000 new IRS agents, the agency already had a sizable budget, of which tens of millions of dollars had been spent on purchasing military-oriented gear.
Between the fiscal years 2006 and 2019, the agency spent $21.3 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment, using the funds to stockpile 4,500 guns and five million rounds of ammunition.
The government watchdog group Open The Books conducted a case study itemizing the items purchased by the IRS between fiscal years 2015 and 2019.
Of a total of $8.7 million spent, $4.5 million was directed towards guns and ammunition while $4.2 million was designated for combat equipment.
“As of January 1, 2019, the IRS owned 4,600 guns and stockpiled 5 million rounds of ammunition. This included 621 shotguns, 539 long-barrel rifles, [and] 15 submachine guns,” explains Open The Books in its report, “The Militarization of The U.S. Executive Agencies.”
The weapons and ammunition are believed to be used by the agency’s roughly 2,200 Special Agents, who are “investigative forensic accountants utilizing specialized technology to uncover sophisticated schemes to defraud the government, as well as assist in counterterrorism and anti-narcotics efforts,” noted Open The Books.
In addition to handguns, items such as long guns, shotgun ammunition, night vision scopes, ballistic shields, and several forms of body armor were also purchased by the IRS with its taxpayer-provided millions.
It remains unclear whether or not President Biden’s boost to the IRS budget mole results in the agency gaining more military style equipment or weapons.
Natalie Winters is the Lead Investigative Reporter at the National Pulse and co-host of The National Pulse podcast.