April 05,2017

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Rachel McCleery

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Ahead of Filing Season Hearing, Wyden Calls for Restored IRS Enforcement Resource


Wyden voices concerns that administration’s proposed IRS budget cuts will threaten security of taxpayer information;

Encourages IRS to enable widely-used cybersecurity protection

WASHINGTON Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today called for a reinstatement of IRS budget funds to help crack down on tax cheats and better protect taxpayer information. In two letters to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, Wyden recognized growing cyber threats to taxpayer information, recommended enabling a measure to stop these threats and urged Republicans to support increased IRS enforcement staff and resources. The President’s budget request for fiscal year 2018 cuts the IRS budget by $239 million.

“The fewer tools the IRS can use to combat cyber threats, the greater the risk for taxpayer information to be compromised and taxpayers’ identities and tax refunds stolen,” Wyden said. “Moreover, slashing IRS funds for enforcement enables bad actors to avoid paying their taxes, which is money that could be put to good use shoring up critical programs like Medicare. We need action, not lip service, to ensure the IRS has the resources they need to protect taxpayers’ personal information and prevent tax dodgers from gaming the system.”

The IRS reported that the 2016 tax filing season has seen a 400 percent increase in phishing attacks where criminals impersonated IRS employees.  The IRS also noted that the chance of a large corporation being audited declined by nearly half between 2006 and 2016.

The letter to Commissioner Koskinen about restoring IRS budget cuts can be found here.

The letter to Commissioner Koskinen encouraging the IRS to adopt a cybersecurity prevention measure can be found here