IRS Took Funds Away from Customer Service

According to a report from Congress, the IRS reduced its customer service budget and spent the money for other purposes.

John Koskinen, and the rest of the executive staff for the IRS should be unemployed, tomorrow. They had one job, and because they wanted to preserve their bonuses—and ‘teach Congress a lesson’ for cutting their budget, they punished the very citizens they’re supposed to serve.

As the Weekly Standard reported, “IRS Deliberately Cut Its Own Customer Service Budget

If you tried to contact the IRS with a question about your taxes this year, chances are you didn’t get a response. The IRS estimated that it would only answer 17 million of the 49 million calls received this filing season. Taxpayers lucky enough to have the IRS answer their calls waited an average of 34.4 minutes for assistance—nearly double the wait time last year (18.7 minutes).

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has blamed the IRS’s “abysmal” customer service on congressional budget cuts—funding is down $1.2 billion from its 2010 peak—but a new congressional report points the finger back at the IRS. While congressional funding for the IRS remained flat from 2014 to 2015, the IRS diverted $134 million away from customer service to other activities.

In addition to the $11 billion appropriated by Congress, the IRS takes in more than $400 million in user fees and may allocate that money as it sees fit. In 2014, the IRS allocated $183 million in user fees to its customer service budget, but allocated just $49 million in 2015—a 76 percent cut.

Commissioner Koskinen will appear before the House Ways and Means Committee this morning, one week after the federal tax filing deadline, and he can expect to be asked why the IRS cut its own customer service budget and continues to spend money on other questionable activities.

[See also, “The IRS is Facing Demographic Winter.”]

Can them all. Eliminate their pensions and benefits and begin the process of shutting down the entire agency. The IRS is rife with corruption and partisanship—and incompetence (really, the IT department “lost” all of those emails?)—just turn out the lights and lock the doors.