TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Senate Holds Hearing on John Koskinen's Nomination to be IRS Commissioner

Congressional News, Tax | Permalink


Fine. Now I await comments from all types of sycophants and lapdogs, especially from the legal profession, praising Koskinen. Sheesh.

Posted by: Jimbino | Dec 10, 2013 12:41:12 PM

I think I commented before he is incompetent as a tax person. He has never practiced tax law and does not know the tax world. He should not be the Commissioner. There are much better candidates out there who have a tax background.

Posted by: Sid | Dec 10, 2013 7:38:16 PM

In 1997, Pres. Clinton nominated Charles O. Rossotti, a small businessman, as Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Rossotti had some limited success in upgrading the Service’s technology and increasing its “customer service” orientation. Perhaps his greatest achievement was imbuing IRS management with late-20th Century “MBA speak,” an oddity that still afflicts its executives. Unfortunately, Rossotti had no tax administration or enforcement experience, and that serious deficiency was at least one of the factors that has caused the agency to become unmoored from its historical impartiality and political judgment.

Mr. Koskinen may have some success in cleaning up the IRS’ current problems. But in the longer run, what the Service really needs isn’t another private-sector turnaround specialist. First and foremost, it needs more resources–more money, better technology, and more and better employees. That simply isn’t going to happen, at least in the next 5-10 years. Second, it needs a public service oriented CEO with a deep background in and understanding of tax administration. Third, the agency needs a statutory reorganization that splits it into two agencies–one for tax administration and one for tax enforcement. Rossotti’s (and the mid-1990's reinvention mantra) of taxpayers as customers works on the Service’s tax administration side. It doesn’t apply to or work well with the enforcement side.

Can we expect any of these reforms to be implemented? Certainly not. True and effective reform might remove or reduce the appeal of one of Congress’ most useful whipping boys.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Dec 11, 2013 7:11:56 AM