Appreciate all who give play by play for those who can’t access for
One reason or another
Black - R - TN
asks new commissioner to clarify - 6 ongoing investigations
asks him to clarify regarding comments on the exempt status
Black - uncovered IRS surveillance to monitor tax exempt status
Groups referred to surveillance were returned for further review
what is the status of surveillance program?
Answer: surveillance is not in existence - IRS will monitor/ reviewed as needed
Sanchez - D - CA
asks about Earned income tax credit fraud
Commissioner responds with “we run that program as well as collecting taxes” and “it is a balancing act”
Jenkins - R - Kansas
asks about subsidies for ACA & possible tax fraud
From Inspector general report:
Lack of fraud mitigation relating to tax credits - no strategy
IRS fraud may not be capable of discovery of fraud.
What is the IRS doing?
IRS - rollout on our part went very well, despite other issues with rollout.
Estimates of tax credit - reconciliation at the back end
In terms of fraud potential - advance tax premium goes to insurance company & therefore little incentive for fraud
We will get from insurers who is getting subsidies.
We do need to make sure that people are reporting their income correctly and we are developing “screens” for that.
It is an additional burden which no funding has been provided.
Danny Davis - D - Illinois
Training focus yet budget has been cut. How do you motivate staff to allow them to work with less.
Response: Management approach to an organization. I spent my career working in organizations that are under stress.
IRS - 75% budget is people.
Change utilization of our website - apps - where’s my refund?
those are calls that did not have to be handled by agents.
We are using less office space, we have cut contractors and eliminated sending tax booklets.
Davis: What do you hear from staff?
Response: describe limitations based on lack of staff
Encourage information flow from the bottom up so that they know we value their work and opinions.
Marchant - R - Texas
Can you tell us whether there is targeting?
Response: IRS wants a good rapport with taxpayers - we need to deliver with performance.
Marchant: If you discover this type of activity, will there be immediate reporting to this committee and take action to terminate employee?
Response: I will report and act quickly
Marchant: groups that were targeted in my district - many of those groups filled out paperwork with exhaustive questions.
Response: those lists no longer exist
Marchant: Less than 100 names that were disclosed (through groups answers on paperwork)
(he compares the number of those audited with donor list)
Response: our audit rate - over a million audits - higher rate of audits for higher incomes.
Some will be automatically in the audit category based on their income based on procedures.
Crowley - D - NY
Attempt to find a smoking gun....
refers to Obama comment on boneheaded actions.
This committee found otherwise - continues to list no political targeting.
rehashes the history according to his perception
Smoking gun - no new information has come forth
smoking gun is a cap gun
Tom Reed - R - NY
IRS has lost trust.
Obama made statement in interview about “no corruption”.
Yet you stated there are 6 investigations, is that a responsible statement by the President about the status of IRS.
Response: statements in face of open investigation, which draw conclusions when it is still ongoing.
Reed: what I just heard was you don’t want to answer the question.
Answer: it is not my role to respond in a debate about perceptions.
Reed: there is no way to come to a conclusion at this time.
Response: evidence is unfolding.
I won’t second guess comments by anyone.
Reed: restates comment - no conclusion?
Reed: How do you know there is under-staffing issue and how will you measure the fulfillment of actions taken?
Response: how many phone calls go unanswered. that is a measure of lack of staff.
Reed: how do you know that people are not doing their job?
Response: I have been to call centers - and calls not getting answered has nothing to do with “not doing their job”.
Paulsen - R - MN
Proposed rules for tax exempt status - released in the middle of ongoing investigation
under new rules - would still be able to conduct non-partisan
Further questions on the status and how they differ
Is the intent to drive 501c4 out of status?
Response: Final regulation won’t help unless it solves the issues and will consider comments
Paulsen: groups targeted - what procedures does IRS have in place to know they are not being targeted?
Response: IRS has detailed procedures and assure you those audits are identified by specific details.
IRS will be doing audits in a fair way - it is done independently
Paulsen: would you be willing to work with my office on groups targeted?
response: series of issues - we need to investigate - delighted to work with your office.
When we hear from congress, I want to respond quickly.