Legal group accuses Biden of instructing IRS to alter algorithms to audit more Asian and white taxpayers

A nonprofit group that tackles executive overreach has accused the Biden administration of instructing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to target more white and Asian American taxpayers for audits.

On Tuesday, the America First Legal Foundation (AFL) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in which it claims President Joe Biden’s February 16th Executive Order on Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through The Federal Government “directs agencies to ‘prevent and remedy discrimination, including by protecting the public from algorithmic discrimination [sic].'”

“Algorithmic discrimination,” the FOIA request explains, is defined as “instances when automated systems contribute to unjustified different treatments or impacts disfavoring people based on their actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity … or any other classification protected by law.”

“Consequently,” AFL contends, “there is very strong reason to believe that the Treasury Department is altering the IRS’s audit algorithms to illegally operationalize racial quotas and/or requiring agents to use imputed race and ethnicity data to ensure ‘racial equity.'”

With its focus on “racial equity,” Biden says his latest Executive Order “builds upon my previous equity-related Executive Orders by extending and strengthening equity-advancing requirements for agencies, and it positions agencies to deliver better outcomes for the American people.”

While audits are not specifically mentioned, the EO orders federal agencies, including the IRS, to submit an annual “Equity Action Plan to the Steering Committee” showing how their actions “advance equity.” Agencies are told to “prevent and remedy discrimination, including by protecting the public from algorithmic discrimination.”

This, AFL notes, could have serious and illegal consequences for the IRS.

“Congress has prohibited the IRS from collecting race and ethnicity data from American taxpayers,” the group writes. “But since President Biden took office, the Treasury Department has been using ‘racial equity’ as a ‘key factor in the design of tax compliance,’ and illegally ‘examining the tax system through a racial equity lens.'”

“Statements by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Lily Batchelder, and members of the ‘Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity [sic]’ demonstrate that the Treasury Department is committed to imputing race and ethnicity into tax data for the purpose of ensuring that more white, Asian, and mixed-race Americans are audited based solely on their race or national origin,” AFL argues.

The group points to Congress’s move to provide “enough funding to the IRS to add an additional 87,000 IRS agents” and the recent leak of thousands of Americans’ confidential taxpayer information by the IRS to ProPublica.

“And now, the IRS appears to be preparing to make enforcement decisions based on race,” AFL states.

Gene Hamilton, America First Legal Vice-President and General Counsel called the injection of race into the IRS’s operations “offensive.”

“The notion that race should play any role whatsoever in the IRS’s operations is absurd, offensive to the American ideal, and illegal,” he said in a statement. “But the Biden Administration is so blinded by its relentless obsession with race that it is willing to make IRS enforcement decisions based on the race of American citizens.”

“We will fight their attempts to erode equality under the law and expose their attempts to inject toxic ‘equity’-based policies throughout the federal government,” Hamilton vowed.

America First Legal President Stephen Miller said the group will be relentless in its opposition to Biden’s “Marxist edict.”

“As pledged, we will relentlessly oppose Biden’s new Marxist edict directing all federal employees to submit and surrender to the racialist and racist equity agenda,” he stated. “We will not allow the machinery of the federal government, with all its considerable and awesome powers, to be used to categorize and punish Americans based on skin color or to replace our entire constitutional order with race-and-gender based Marxism.”

The Treasury Department now has, under federal law, 20 business days to respond to AFL’s request, and Miller says the organization is just getting started.

“Today’s investigation,” Miller said, “is just the very beginning of our battle against this tyrannical executive order.”

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