February 15,2001

Grassley Comment on IRS Audit

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Finance Committee, made the following comment on the latest IRS audit rates.

"Congress has provided the IRS the authority to hire an additional 2,036 full-time employees this year. This increase in staffing, combined with cost savings the IRS should realize from continued increases in electronic filing and improvements from modernization, should address the issues related to the audit rates. It's important to note that the amount of enforcement revenue has remained basically constant in the past few years despite changes in staffing and priorities at the agency.

"The move from an outdated way of doing business at the IRS to a new customer-oriented system requires significant changes in personnel, philosophy, culture and employee training. When Congress enacted IRS reform legislation, we realized this wouldn't be an easy transition, and that there would be shortfalls in IRS work.

"Regardless, treating taxpayers fairly and assisting taxpayers are critical missions for the IRS. They shouldn't inhibit the agency from performing any other responsibilities. If they do, something's fundamentally wrong."