IRS faces online uproar over special agent job posting requiring ability to use deadly force 'if necessary'

IRS job posting said agents must be willing to 'carry a firearm' and 'use deadly force, if necessary'

An online job posting for special agents within the law enforcement branch of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is causing a stir on social media, as Congress prepares to pass a spending bill that would greatly expand the federal agency.

A link to a job posting for "Criminal Investigation Special Agents" appeared to have been briefly deleted on Wednesday, following online criticism of the posting's language, though it reappeared back online after a FOX Business inquiry to the agency. 

A "key requirement" for applicants is that they have to be "legally allowed to carry a firearm," and "major duties" include "Carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary" and "Be willing and able to participate in arrests, execution of search warrants, and other dangerous assignments," according to the job posting.

The requirement that agents be willing to use "deadly force, if necessary" drew heated criticism online, although the same language appears in job postings for other law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI.  

"The IRS Criminal Investigation special agent job announcement continues to be open on USAJobs and has not/was not taken down. USAJobs is where these positions are posted and where applicants are referred to in order to apply," an IRS spokesperson told FOX Business. 

"The announcement has been opened since February 2022 and continues through Dec. 31, 2022." 

The uproar over the post coincided with criticism of the proposed expansion of the IRS under the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes an $80 billion boost to the IRS over a 10-year period, with more than half intended to help the agency crack down on tax evasion.

If passed, the money would go toward filling 87,000 IRS positions, more than doubling the agency's current size. The bill passed in the Senate on Sunday with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote. It now heads to the House for a likely vote at the end of the week.


Internal Revenue Service

This April 13, 2014, file photo shows the Internal Revenue Service's headquarters building in Washington. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File / AP Newsroom)

Senate Democrats projected that enhancing IRS funding could add an extra $124 billion in federal revenue over the next decade by hiring more tax enforcers who can crack down on rich individuals and corporations attempting to evade taxes.

But Republicans warn the bill will fund an army of IRS agents to crack down on small business owners and lower-income workers. Americans who earn less than $75,000 per year are slated to receive 60% of the additional tax audits expected under the Democrats' spending package, according to an analysis released by House Republicans. 

Joe Biden

President Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on June 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh / AP Newsroom)

The analysis, which is a conservative estimate based upon recent audit rates and tax filing data, shows that individuals with an annual income of $75,000 or less would be subject to 710,863 additional IRS audits, while those making more than $1 million would receive 52,295 more audits under the bill.

Overall, the IRS would conduct more than 1.2 million more annual audits of Americans' tax returns, according to the analysis. Another 236,685 of the estimated additional audits would target individuals with an annual income between $75,000 and $200,000.

Democrats insist Americans making less than $400,000 will not be targeted by agents hired due to the spending bill. 

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig testifies before the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee in Washington on March 17, 2022. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images / Getty Images)


In response to criticism about the expected uptick in tax audits under the bill, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said Thursday that "audit rates" will not increase relative to recent years.

The IRS did not immediately respond to FOX Business' inquiry on why the special agents job posting was deleted.

Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci and Megan Henney contributed to this report.