A proposal to permanently shut down the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is to be considered by Congress soon.
The Republican Study Committee (RSC) submitted the proposals to the House Republican task forces for consideration.
As part of its proposal on tax reform, the RSC slammed the IRS, writing:
In its current form, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is at best an inefficient behemoth weighing down our economy. At its worst, the IRS has shown a capacity for outright corruption and political targeting.
The proposal went on to claim:
Under the Obama Administration, the IRS has illegally targeted conservatives. It has channeled millions of taxpayer dollars away from taxpayer assistance for employee bonuses. It has allowed taxpayer information to be compromised in a data breach. The IRS has even intentionally leaked confidential taxpayer information. Despite these facts, the president’s budget actually calls for increasing spending on the IRS by $1 billion.
The solution? “[T]he complete elimination of the IRS.”
But wait: that doesn’t mean that collecting taxes would fall by the wayside. The RSC suggests that “[t]ax collection and enforcement activities would be moved to a new, smaller, and more accountable department at the Treasury.” Those who wish work for the new – not IRS – agency would “need to undergo a rigorous evaluation of their work performance before being hired to positions of trust, and would be subject to discipline and termination if they failed to honor that trust.”
And that’s it. There are no other specifics on how the new – not IRS – agency would function, what a budget for the new -not IRS – agency might look like, or how the new – not IRS – agency might operate. The big selling point from the committee is clearly the “not IRS” bit.
Of course, it goes without saying that the IRS is not popular. Nobody likes to pay taxes. Audits aren’t fun. And collections, as a rule, are never pleasant. I get that. You get that. My clients – especially – get that.
But there’s a reason that the idea to close down the IRS and start a new – not IRS – agency is short on details. And here it is: the IRS, as flawed as it may be, is only responsible for tax administration, not tax law and not tax policy. The complicated hash of tax laws and tax rules isn’t an IRS creation: that honor belongs to Congress.Closing down the agency doesn’t tackle the more concerning problems of tax reform or tax complexity.