Internal Revenue Service
Posted: April 22, 2016
While millions of Americans scrambled to finish their tax returns last weekend, it's safe to say that many were fuming at the Internal Revenue Service. In fact, GOP Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is on the presidential campaign trail asking Congress to "abolish the IRS".
Certainly, the IRS is an agency that richly deserves voters' anger for providing horrible customer service and being an easy target for fraudsters and failing to prevent the theft of a ton of personal information from its website. Anyone who has been on hold waiting for the IRS to take their phone call knows what I mean.
However, the people that can't stand the IRS have Congress to blame. After all, Congress wrote the complex tax code that spans four million words and is 9,000 pages in length. And Congress has repeatedly slashed the IRS budget while expecting the agency to do more work with less money. For fiscal 2016, Congress gave the IRS $11.2 billion, which is about $950 million less than its budget in 2010.
One of items that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen noted to Congress recently is to simplify the tax code that would significantly reduce costs to the government. One of the more recent calls on the presidential campaign trail is to pass the FairTax, a flat national consumption tax code with a more common-sense system that is simpler and more growth-oriented. The FairTax was introduced by Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas, and Senator David Perdue of Georgia.
Under the FairTax, there would be no tax on savings or investment. It would create more jobs and allow Americans to keep the entirety of their income, putting individuals back in charge of their own finances rather than the government.
It's an interesting concept, to say the least. But if changes to the tax code are in the not-so-distant future, then it's really up to Congress to bite the bullet and either repeal the existing tax code or write the necessary changes into law, demand more appropriate action and give the agency the money it needs to fix problems.
Whipping and starving the IRS is less punishing to the agency than it is to all those confused taxpayers left holding on phone lines when their there's nobody there to take their calls.
SEND US YOUR E-MAIL SO YOU CAN READ THE BOTTOM LINE ONLINE! YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS IS YOUR USER NAME AND YOUR ZIP CODE IS YOUR PASSWORD. SEND TO: firstname.lastname@example.org.