January 14,2015

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Wyden Statement on IRS Budget Challenges

WASHINGTON - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued a statement today following reports that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will face serious difficulties operating effectively due to budget shortfalls this year:

“Recent comments from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen paint a grave picture for American taxpayers as filing season begins this year. Due to hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts at the IRS, taxpayers will not receive the level of service they deserve and expect,” Wyden said.

“Beyond a lack of resources to handle the large volumes of phone calls and letters the agency receives each year, every dollar cut from enforcement is seven dollars in taxpayer money lost, which means budget cuts benefit tax cheats at the expense of hardworking American families who pay their fair share.

“If Congress continues to underfund the IRS, taxpayers will lose as they try to navigate the outrageously complex U.S. tax code with minimal or inadequate guidance. It’s clear the tax system needs to be reformed, but cutting funds for enforcement activities and personnel to answer calls from taxpayers is not the way to fix the problem. To have a functional tax system, it is critical Congress gives the IRS the support it needs to fulfill its duty to taxpayers.”

Yesterday, Commissioner Koskinen released a memo to IRS employees outlining the impact of budget cuts on IRS operations. The memo can be found here.