TaxProf Blog

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

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1274:   Koskinen Says It Is Time To 'Move Beyond' The Scandal And Restore The IRS's Budget

IRS Logo 2Bloomberg BNA, We Can’t Afford’ More IRS Budget Cuts, Koskinen Proclaims:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is fired up about what he sees as crippling budget reductions, and he isn’t being shy about showing it.

Koskinen spent nearly 10 minutes today laying out the massive risks of future budget cuts to the agency, and describing his plan to remind members of Congress during future appropriations processes just what could happen if the IRS doesn’t receive an injection of funds. Agency funding is down $900 million since 2010. ...

Members of Congress—who will likely tackle a massive, year-end funding package in December—need to understand that a starving IRS can’t provide the government with the money it needs to function, Koskinen said. The agency is down 5,000 revenue agents and criminal investigators from six years ago, he said, and it can give back anywhere from four to 10 times the amount of money it’s given in terms of additional revenues.

Koskinen also had strong words for the members of Congress who are continuing to punish the agency for the years-old scandal involving scrutiny of groups applying for tax exemptions. Fury from some Republican lawmakers has continued since. Several members of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus say Koskinen, who wasn’t at the IRS at the time, deserves to be impeached over the matter, and they almost succeeded in bringing the issue to a House floor vote earlier this fall.

“My hope is at some point we can move beyond some of the problems of the past. The whole c4 issue and the IG’s report was three and a half years ago, and my hope is over time we’ll be able to convince people that we’ve taken all the recommendations anyone has made in the investigative area, and from the Senate Finance Committee, and we are committed to ensuring the mistakes never happen again. They shouldn’t have happened, I think it was a bad mistake, and it unfairly treated a whole set of organizations that got put up in long delays,” he said.

“My hope is as we move beyond that we can then have a more direct discussion about the resource needs of the agency.”

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/11/the-irs-scandal-day-1274-koskinen-says-it-is-time-to-move-beyond-the-scandal-and-restore-the-irss-bu.html

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Comments

Moving beyond it should require more than mouthing platitudes. Cooperation instead of stonewalling. He may not have weaponized the IRS, but he sure did his best to stop it from being disarmed or stopping its partisan aggression.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Nov 3, 2016 4:32:38 AM

Moot point Mr. MM. The Republican Platform (p. 27) calls for abolishing the IRS. If current trends continue, the WH, Senate, and House will all be red. Then all problems will be solved by closing the IRS.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Nov 3, 2016 5:43:28 AM

Cutting the IRS's budget is asinine, but even more asinine is the administration's failure to punish those responsible.

Posted by: guy helvering | Nov 3, 2016 8:02:47 AM

It's my understanding that the persecution continues, also, no one was prosecuted. What congress should do is shut them down entirely and install some type of flat tax. Get rid of them!

Posted by: isolden | Nov 3, 2016 8:27:53 AM

I'm sure Bill Clinton wishes Juanita Broaddrick would move beyond her rape accusation too. However, truth must precede reconciliation.

Because Lois Lerner's emails were deleted and because she refuses to testify we don't have the truth yet. The truth will set the IRS free.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Nov 3, 2016 8:35:37 AM

The agency is down 5,000 revenue agents and criminal investigators from six years ago

The Democrat's attack dogs still have jobs though.

Posted by: wodun | Nov 3, 2016 10:53:20 AM

The IRS is STILL slow-walking 501(c) applications from conservative groups. Why should the rest of us "move on" when they haven't?

That man needs to be impeached even if he only has 1 day left in office.

Posted by: mhjhnsn | Nov 3, 2016 11:01:20 AM

Those of us who were denied a voice before the election will think it time to move on when fines and punishment are meted out. Perhaps the missing revenue officer positions can be filled by the agents who were deciding who gets to be heard before our election.

Posted by: Oliver Shank | Nov 3, 2016 11:52:42 AM

Pubs,

Did I make a comment? That wasn't your first senior moment around here.

I personally don't believe the IRS should be abolished, just decreased in size and influence and returns to focusing on its core responsibility: collecting tax revenue and shrinking the tax gap.

Koskinen failed to mention the numerous wasteful IRS expenditures, which I've cited in previous discussions, and how he'd eliminate them. I have zero sympathy for a bureaucratic agency that wastes millions in taxpayer dollars while its budget is dropping, and then spends scarce resources engaging in unconstitutional political viewpoint discrimination against the minority party, and then pleading poverty and playing the victim...

Posted by: MM | Nov 3, 2016 7:48:52 PM

Cutting the IRS budget is a little like biting off the hand that feeds. What does need to happen is better oversight of where the money is spent, oversight that should come from the top. However, when the top is making sure all funds are diverted to implement the ACA at all costs (computer system upgrades, revenue agents be dammed). The trenches don't see any end in sight. Without naming names we all know who the top is... Lois Lerner and her gang were all pawns doing what the word from the top told them to do. Very sad to watch our government at work.

Posted by: dsocpa | Nov 4, 2016 6:46:23 AM