Tags: Trump Administration | IRS Scandal | irs | commissioner | response | republicans | abolish

IRS Chief to GOP: You Need This Agency

By    |   Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 07:47 PM

IRS commissioner John Koskinen said on Tuesday that calls for the elimination of his agency are just "politics," and he joked that a name change might be one solution for IRS critics.

"You can call them something other than the IRS if that made you feel better," Koskinen told reporters on Tuesday after a speech at the National Press Club, The Hill reports.

Eliminating the IRS, or scrapping the federal tax code and starting over, is a recurring talking point for some 2016 Republican presidential prospects, including Sen. Rand Paul and retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Sen. Ted Cruz formally announced his presidential campaign this month with a speech encouraging supporters to "Imagine abolishing the IRS."

"Politics is politics," Koskinen said in reply, The New York Times reports.

Koskinen and other IRS officials have been hauled before Congress of late to explain why tax scrutiny has fallen more heavily on conservative groups than liberal groups applying for non-profit status, and why the agency has had trouble locating and turning over subpoenaed e-mails.

He told reporters on Tuesday that an overly complicated tax system, not partisan politics, was the cause of conservatives' worries, and he said that simplifying the tax code is the "reasonable goal" underlying hostility toward the IRS.

But even a tax system that allows filers to "fill out a small card" — a reference to a Cruz proposal — will still need support staff, said Koskinen.

"Somebody has to collect the money and somebody has to make sure when you fill in the small card that you filled in the right numbers," he said.

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IRS commissioner John Koskinen said on Tuesday that calls for the elimination of his agency are just "politics," and he joked that a name change might be one solution for IRS critics.
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Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 07:47 PM
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