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The IRS announced Thursday that it has collected $1 billion in back taxes from high-wealth tax cheats — a milestone meant to showcase how the agency is making use of the money it received as part of the Biden administration’s signature climate, health care, and tax package signed into law in 2022.

Part of the push for public awareness of high-wealth tax collections is a growing recognition by agency officials that a potential Republican takeover of the White House and Congress could mean massive future budget cuts for the IRS. Showing the public how much work the IRS is getting done is meant to give the much-maligned agency a more sympathetic image.

As part of that effort, last year the IRS launched a series of initiatives aimed at pursuing high-wealth individuals who have failed to pay their tax debts. The IRS says the campaign is focused on taxpayers with more than $1 million in income and more than $250,000 in recognized tax debt.

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