NTU Testimony to Senate Finance Hearing on IRS Budget and Oversight: Compliance, Not Enforcement, Should Be the Goal

The Senate Finance Committee called NTU’s Pete Sepp to testify on the subject of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) budget increase and oversight of how the IRS plans to spend that money. In a statement for the record, Sepp outlined the key challenges facing the IRS in the coming months and years, as well as what taxpayers need to see in order to ensure their rights are protected against the enormous increased enforcement budget. 

Sepp discussed the need for tax simplification, a working appeals process, alternative dispute resolution, and the need for Congress and the White House to fully staff and empower the IRS Oversight Board, which has been vacant since 2015 yet still receives funding. 

At the hearing, Sepp said,

“This amount of funding for the IRS has never been accompanied by so little detail… unless we get the agency transformation right, revenues are not going to materialize. That’s why we need to get to work on a number of important items to make sure this transformation is a success. Not only for the agency, not only for the revenues, but for taxpayers themselves.”

As noted in the hearing, NTU has gathered together the Taxpayers FIRST project, a cross-ideological coalition of former IRS officials, tax professionals and policy experts to oversee the IRS’s unprecedented budget boost. 

“Compliance is the end - not enforcement,” Sepp said at the hearing. “Tax simplification, of course, aids compliance.”

From IRS reforms in the 1980s to the 1998 IRS Restructuring and Reform Act to the newest IRS budget plus-up, NTU has been a leader on IRS oversight and analysis, and is engaged more now than ever as the IRS faces the largest budget increase in the Service’s history. 

For more information on NTU President Pete Sepp’s testimony to the Senate Finance Committee and NTU’s IRS work, please contact Kevin Glass, NTU Vice President of Communications, at 703-299-8670 or at kglass@ntu.org.