Washington -- To bolster enforcement at the Internal Revenue Service, President Bush will ask for roughly $500 million more in the 2006 budget for the agency -- a boost of nearly 8 percent from the fiscal 2005 budget.

In fiscal 2005, House lawmakers accorded nearly $6.4 billion for the IRS, while the 2006 version requests about $6.9 billion, according to figures from the Treasury Dept.

The Treasury said the added funding would be used to examine a greater number of tax returns, collect past due taxes, and investigate tax-avoidance cases.

Mark Everson, Commissioner of the IRS labeled the boost in its enforcement coffers, "a wise investment" that "more than pays for itself."

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