One provision in the Inflation Reduction Act has sparked the most debate in certain corners of the internet in the weeks since its passage: a $80 billion infusion to the IRS.

Over the next decade, the funds will be used to help the tax-collection agency catch cheats and update its shockingly outdated technology. However, many conservative critics argue that the money will make tax collectors a more pernicious presence in Americans’ lives, and that the agency is politically motivated.

One particular claim has gained traction in right-wing circles: that the money will not only result in an influx of 87,000 new IRS agents, but that those agents will be heavily armed.

The claim has been debunked by fact checkers. However, the IRS has responded directly in a new op-ed by IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, which was published on Yahoo Finance on Thursday.

According to Rettig, the viral claims are “completely false.” “The IRS is often perceived as an easy target for mischaracterizations of what IRS employees do — and that’s exactly what’s happened in recent weeks,” he said.

According to Terry Lemons, an IRS senior spokesperson, the money will instead “help provide badly needed improvements in taxpayer service and technology, as well as help ensure fairness in our tax system.”

The op-ed comes the same week that the IRS announced a security review of its facilities across the country in response to what Rettig describes as employee concerns about their personal safety.

The goal of increasing IRS funding is fairly straightforward. Lawmakers are adding $80 billion to the IRS budget, which is expected to generate a substantial return on investment by increasing tax revenue by more than $200 billion.

The so-called “tax gap” — the difference between what taxes are owed to the government and what is actually paid — is the target. Estimates of the gap range from $280 billion to $1 trillion per year, as thousands of Americans who don’t want to pay their full tax bill discover they can fly under the IRS’s radar.

However, the bipartisan desire to solve that problem has collided with conservative suspicions of the agency that go far beyond the general dislike of handing over money to the government.

Many GOP criticisms stem from a controversy during the Obama administration when it was revealed that the agency had specifically looked at political groups’ tax-exempt status. Conservatives claimed the IRS targeted them, but a 2017 Treasury report on the matter discovered that groups on both sides of the political spectrum had faced scrutiny.

Nonetheless, suspicion persists, prompting conservatives to mobilize against increased funding in recent years, including the removal of it from last year’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. Democrats, on a party-line vote, have now made the new money a reality.

Lower- and middle-income Americans would be among those affected, according to Grassley, who also claims the agency has a history of fiscal mismanagement.

Others have gone a step further. In recent weeks, a popular meme on the right has claimed that the additional funds will result in the hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) reiterated the claim, adding that the new hires would be “mostly armed.”

Rettig’s op-ed on Thursday appears to be the agency’s first direct response to those specific viral claims. The new hires there will focus on illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing, and not audits of everyday Americans.

A job description for IRS agents in the criminal investigation area, which mentions being armed, appears to have fueled the fear of weaponized agents, which has been expressed by figures ranging from Republican lawmakers to Elon Musk.

According to Rettig, the vast majority of any new hires would be tasked with tasks like answering phones at IRS headquarters and catching up on the IRS’ massive backlog of unprocessed claims.

He stated that the agency will not raise audit rates for households earning less than $400,000 per year. In fact, he stated that the upgrades would result in better customer service for regular taxpayers. The IRS has long resisted claims that more money would result in more audits of ordinary Americans.