by Melissa Fine
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.”
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