Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Reining in the IRS

Mar 25 2015

It’s clear why Americans distrust the IRS. From abusing its enforcement of tax laws to paying millions of dollars in bonuses to employees, this agency is known for misusing taxpayer dollars.

The American people deserve better.

Instead of making taxpayers its number one priority, it’s clear that IRS Commissioner John  Koskinen’s primary focus is IRS employees. Last week he sent an email to more than 80,000 IRS workers touting his ability to cut the budget to protect the priority of the IRS’ union – no furlough days this year.

Instead of working to regain the public’s trust, the IRS wants more money and more authority over the speech of political groups.

The President’s budget requests a $2 billion increase for the IRS in the next fiscal year. This is unrealistic and busts the budget cap established by the Budget Control Act.

And what exactly does the agency need this money for?

Koskinen says the agency is considering expanding “a yet-to-be-released rule governing 501(c)(4), “social welfare” groups, to include political groups known as 527s, which focus on elections” according to Politico. It appears that he has yet to learn lessons that cost his predecessor her job.

The IRS has a history of overreach. Two years ago we learned the agency targeted political groups, singling them out for additional scrutiny because of their ideological views. Now it wants authority to police political non-profits.

The agency needs to focus on regaining the trust of the American people, but I’m concerned this potential rule will continue to erode the already fragile relationship that the public has with the IRS.