During a Senate Finance Committee hearing today on the nomination of John Andrew Koskinen to be Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., expressed concerns over efforts by the IRS to expand its role into tax preparation, while maintaining its role as tax collector and auditor. Enzi also discussed his concerns with recent revelations of inappropriate use of tax dollars for IRS staff conventions and other functions.
The IRS has announced plans to look into the possibility of creating pre-populated individual tax forms, as well as an IRS online tax preparation system. A role typically for the private sector according to Enzi.
“These efforts could dismantle a currently successful and free public-private partnership. I have concerns about the IRS preforming the simultaneous roles of tax preparers, tax collectors, and tax auditors,” said Enzi, “When we start having government infringe on what the private sector has the capability, and already shows the ability to do, I would hate to have the IRS to step in and muddle it up.”
Enzi also questioned Koskinen over the culture at the IRS of inappropriate and excessive spending of tax payer dollars.
“I would like to know a little more about the current culture at the Internal Revenue Service which a lot of my constituents view as wasting tax payers money as seen with the IRS internal conferences and videos prepared for the conferences over the last several years,” said Enzi.
According to Koskinen, though training and conferences are important to the IRS’s functions by following appropriate reviews and standards people can be assured that tax dollars are being spent well.
The Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote on Koskinen’s nomination on Friday, December 13.
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