President Obama’s final budget calls for over $1 billion in additional funding for the IRS, which would bring the agency’s total budget to over $12.3 billion in 2017. Given the IRS's record of ineptitude and incompetence, the last thing the agency needs is more money.
The budget proposal includes an additional $530 million in direct, discretionary funding and $515 million for a “multi-year program integrity cap adjustment for tax enforcement.”
Over the past year, the IRS management has repeatedly claimed the agency is starved of taxpayer dollars.
But in reality, the agency is poorly managed and has failed time and time again at its basic responsibilities. Taxpayers are being ill-served by inept bureaucrats that are more concerned about harassing conservatives and businesses than doing their job:
-The agency has continued to drag its feet in implementing reforms, even following the agency targeting conservative groups between 2009 and 2012. This targeting resulted in just one conservative non-profit being granted tax exempt status over a three year period.
-A pair of reports released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that serious internal control flaws mean the IRS may still be unfairly selecting Americans for an audit “based on an organization’s religious, educational, political, or other views.”
-In addition to misspending funds targeting first amendment rights, the agency has failed to properly allocate spending. According to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2015 Annual Report to Congress the IRS is unable to justify spending decisions. As the report stated:
“The IRS lacks a principled basis for making the difficult resource allocation decisions necessitated by today’s tight budget environment.”
-The IRS failed to properly prioritize funding even when budgetary pressure did not exist. The agency has failed to produce a single report on tax complexity since 2002, despite federal law requiring one be compiled each year.
-In fact, the IRS budget has doubled in the past 30 years, even after adjusting for inflation, according to an analysis by Cato Institute economist Dan Mitchell, Although its funding has declined since 2010, it remains higher than mid 2000s levels.
Rather than throwing away over a billion dollars in new taxpayer funding to the IRS, the agency should be held accountable to the American people through a series of reforms that limit the power of unelected bureaucrats.