Paul L. Caron
Dean



Saturday, January 9, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 975

IRS Logo 2Joe Kristan (Tax Update Blog), Taxpayer Advocate: Koskinen Demoralizes IRS, IRS Breaks Law. Koskinen Replies: Give Me More Money!:

It’s getting bad when the IRS won’t even talk to its own Taxpayer Advocate. Nina Olson, the head of the IRS Taxpayer Advocate office, ripped the state of the IRS and Commissioner Koskinen’s management in a speech to the AICPA annual tax conference yesterday, Tax Analysts reports  (my emphasis, $link):

Olson said that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s oft-repeated mantra — that instead of doing more with less in budget-constrained times, the agency was going to do less with less — was demoralizing the IRS workforce and further eroding customer service.

“What my local taxpayer advocates are telling me is that they have never seen so much resistance to their own work” from the IRS, Olson said. She recounted the story of a local TAS employee who asked the IRS in October to release a taxpayer’s refund that had been held up since February. “The response that [TAS] got back was . . . ‘We have thousands of these cases; get in line,’” Olson said, adding that it was the first time she’d heard such a response from the IRS in her 15 years at the TAS.

The feeling at the IRS that there are some jobs it won’t do because Congress didn’t provide funding, Olson said, “works its way down to the employees, so that they feel like, ‘Well, I’m going to do just this, and I’ve got so much work that I’m only going to be able to get this done.'” ...

Ms. Olson says the IRS mistreatment of the TAS office has risen to the level of lawbreaking:

Olson also protested that the IRS is refusing to grant her and her staff access to taxpayers’ administrative files unless they sign agreements barring them from sharing any of the files’ information, even with the taxpayer. Olson noted that she is bound by the same privacy laws as other IRS employees and said she is entitled to access under section 6103.

“My position is that the IRS in those instances has violated the law,” Olson said. “And I do not say that lightly.”

You have problems with the IRS breaking the law? Well, to coin a phrase, get in line.

Commissioner Koskinen responded later in a speech to the same group, in which he did what he always does: ask for more money. “Most of Koskinen’s prepared remarks at the conference were a repeat of his concerns about the IRS’s deteriorating budget position.”

But this Commissioner will never get a budget increase out of this Congress. His glib, arrogant and obstructionist response to the Tea Party scandal, full of denials of the existence of information that subsequently surfaced, has destroyed his credibility. There’s no hope that the IRS will get improved funding as long as he is around to spend it.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/01/the-irs-scandal-day-975.html

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink

Comments

It's a union problem, too. NTEU needs to go.

Posted by: Nemo | Jan 9, 2016 8:39:51 AM

Brother Paul, that's an old bit from November you've linked to. Did you mean to do a compare/contrast between what NTA said in November and what wound up in NTA's report to Congress tattling on Commissioner John? At the Cleveland call site level there's been enough attrition where people are burning out and running away to other agencies. It is getting bad unless and until the tax code gets a zero base re-write.

Posted by: Lieutenant Blantyre | Jan 9, 2016 5:25:38 PM