As if there’s not enough anger to go around concerning the Internal Revenue Service during tax season, the agency’s commissioner just gave Americans another one. Josh Koskinen, the IRS Commissioner, testified Friday that their overloaded phone system hung up on more than 8 million taxpayers during this filing season.
Although the reasons may be unclear to the average American, the commissioner seems to have the answer. He claims it is because of the millions of dollars cut by Congress for taxpayer services. Huh?
To further infuriate the American public, Koskinen said that for those not disconnected; only 40 percent actually got through to an actual human being. Of those lucky few, many waited on hold for more than 30 minutes. Is anyone feeling a rumble in their chest?
In a new staff report by Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, it’s noted that the IRS diverted millions from taxpayer services and other areas to pay for President Barack Obama’s health law. This information coming years after the health legislation became the law of the land. It’s hard to envision Nancy Pelosi asking Americans to sign on to Obamacare to see that in the fine print.
At a hearing Wednesday, Koskinen passed the buck, as aall good bureaucrat do, blaming budget cuts approved by Congress. Really? The agency’s budget has been cut by $1.2 billion since 2010, but this was the first time anyone at the IRS actually admitted they were not doing their job rather than explaining it to Congress. And wasn’t it 2010 when Obamacare squeaked by?
As Koskinen weakly put it, “Customer service, both on the phone and in person has been much far worse than anyone would want,” he told a disbelieving Ways and Means subcommittee. “It’s simply a matter of not having enough people to answer the phones and provide service at our walk-in sites as a result of cuts to our budget.”
The commissioner didn’t stop there. He added the agency is required by law to implement the health law, leaving him with few other places to cut, yet Congress had never been alerted to this major problem. His excuse was the agency requested a total of $600 million over the past two years for computer upgrades to implement the health law as well as a new law requiring foreign banks to report information about U.S. account holders. This coming from a man who does not believe Lois Lerner broke any laws with the open attack on Tea Party tax exemptions.
But Koskinen stuck to his guns saying, “In both years the Congress gave us zero dollars so we had no choice but to look elsewhere.” There is no record of any of this being told to Congress prior to this week when the IRS was on the hot seat. It was Harry Truman who uttered “The buck stops here.” Something the IRS has never heard before.
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