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  • IRS Says Worst Performance In 11 Years Means It Needs A Massive Budget Increase

    Incompetence at the Internal Revenue Service plunged to new depths in 2014 with less than half all customer calls answered and lengthy queues forming outside IRS service centers.

    Speaking to tax experts in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, IRS commissioner John Koskinen said the federal agency’s service fell to its worst performance last year when only 40 percent of calls from taxpayers were answered.

    Some callers who had been waiting on the phone for up to two hours would have their call automatically disconnected, reports CNN Money. In total, IRS staff hung up on 8.8 million calls.

    The number of audits conducted by the IRS also fell to an 11-year low at 1.2 million, with Koskinen adding he didn’t think the upcoming tax season would see a significant difference in performance.

    But Koskinen argued these failures were due to budget cuts, not inefficiency. The IRS boss told the audience his agency needed more funding to compensate for staff cuts made during the previous five years, warning that “with the budget the Senate and House are proposing, service will get worse if you can imagine that.”

    The House has proposed cutting the IRS budget by $838 million. Koskinen claimed the benefits of hiring more staff would outweigh the costs. “The government is forgoing billions just to achieve budget savings of a few hundred million dollars, since we estimate that every $1 invested in the IRS produces $4 in revenue,” said Koskinen.

    But the IRS chief has more on his plate than poor performance at the office. On October 27, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee introduced a resolution to impeach Koskinen.

    The Oversight Committee alleges that Koskinen failed to comply with a subpoena that resulted in the destruction of key evidence, that he provided false information and didn’t testify truthfully and failed to tell congress about missing evidence related to former IRS director Lois Lerner’s emails.

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