New York Times, Under Trump, an Already Depleted I.R.S. Could Face Deep Cuts:
President Trump has a rocky history with the Internal Revenue Service, which he has complained audits him with unfair ferocity. Now he wants to significantly cut the tax agency’s funding at a time when it has already been bleeding staff and struggling to keep up with a flood of returns ahead of Tax Day.
The plans, revealed this week in documents associated with the White House budget outline, put Mr. Trump at odds with his Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who has argued that the I.R.S. needs more money and a larger staff.
Another round of cuts, tax experts say, could put one of the few federal departments that pays for itself on life support. “This is an agency that has had every last drop squeezed out of it,” said Dennis J. Ventry Jr., a member of the I.R.S. advisory council and a law professor at the University of California, Davis. “I don’t know how it’s going to sustain itself.”
The White House budget office has proposed a 14.1 percent cut to the I.R.S. for the fiscal year that begins in October, reducing the agency’s budget to $9.65 billion; six years ago, it stood at $12.1 billion ($13.6 billion when adjusted for inflation).
If approved, the cuts would happen when the number of audits is down and customer service complaints are up as a result of the drop in funding. ...
Handicapping the agency with additional budget cuts will make matters worse, experts say, emboldening scofflaws to take their chances against an increasingly toothless tax collector. And as funding continues to fall, honest taxpayers are suffering from a lack of attention. ...
Mr. Koskinen, who declined to be interviewed, has argued forcefully that those who would cut the I.R.S. budget in the name of fiscal conservatism misunderstood the agency’s value. At hearings around Washington, he regularly reminds members of Congress that every dollar of investment in the I.R.S. yields $4 in revenue.