SOURCE: Tax Revolution Institute

Tax Revolution Institute

April 18, 2016 17:46 ET

The IRS Has No Independent Oversight This Tax Season

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - April 18, 2016) - The Tax Revolution Institute (TRI), whose mission includes promoting transparency, accountability, and integrity in our tax system, has been educating legislators on Capitol Hill for several weeks and is now alerting the public: The only oversight organization identified by the IRS as "independent," the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board (IRSOB), does not have a quorum, and as a result has suspended operations.

According to the IRSOB's website, "The IRS Oversight Board does not currently have enough members confirmed by the U.S. Senate to make up a quorum and as a result has suspended operations."

The IRSOB is responsible for, beyond budget review and long-term planning, "ensur[ing] the proper treatment of taxpayers by the employees of the Internal Revenue Service," yet it is missing in action this tax season.

According to their website, the IRSOB has had "six open seats" of the seven appointed by the president since January 1, 2015, despite the president having nominated enough members for the IRSOB to have resumed operations a year ago.

In fact, since IRSOB Chairman Paul Cherecwich Jr. resigned last year, the closest thing to leadership the board could offer are de facto members Treasury Secretary Jack Lew or IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. One of which, Commissioner Koskinen, is facing calls for his impeachment from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Over the past several years, the IRS has engaged in unconstitutional civil-asset forfeiture, warrantless surveillance, targeted harassment of both conservative and progressive nonprofits, and stonewalled requests for information from the public and Congress. That the oversight board responsible for protecting taxpayers isn't even operating is unacceptable.

While the IRS Oversight Board has received criticism for its ineffectiveness in the past, the Senate has not initiated legislation to replace or redistribute the oversight role of the Board to other agencies.

"The Senate's claims that it has not confirmed nominees to the Board because the Board is ineffective are little consolation to victims of IRS abuse," said Dan Johnson, Tax Revolution Institute's executive director.

"Either the Senate should uphold its statutory mandate to hold confirmation hearings or initiate legislation to replace the oversight board," Johnson continued. "Taxpayers shouldn't have to suffer another year of abuse by a tax agency, so obviously out of control, with no oversight whatsoever."

Despite weeks of directly engaging with the committees responsible for writing and overseeing tax law, TRI has received no acceptable answers as to why taxpayers should suffer another year without true oversight. As of press time, TRI received no comment from either Senate or House leadership on this matter.

This is yet another example of why a tax revolution is the most viable economic solution. Learn more at taxrevolution.us.

About the IRS Oversight Board

In 1997, after Senate hearings on an out-of-control Internal Revenue Service, the National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service (NCRIRS) was created to look into systemic changes Congress could make to reform the IRS. The Committee produced its report, "A Vision for a New IRS," in June 1997 and recommended several changes to IRS structure that would, in part, create a "more efficient system and structure that eases the burden of compliance and protects basic rights for the taxpayer."

One of the Commission's key recommendations was the creation of a board of directors with oversight authority, including the authority to approve IRS plans and initiatives presented to them by the IRS commissioner. Congress created the IRS Oversight Board (IRSOB) in the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, and gave that board much of the authority recommended by the NCRIRS.

"Today, the Oversight Board is a nine-member independent body charged to oversee the IRS in its administration, management, conduct, direction, and supervision of the execution and application of the internal revenue laws and to provide experience, independence, and stability to the IRS so that it may move forward in a cogent, focused direction."

About the Tax Revolution Institute

Tax Revolution Institute (TRI) is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3)-pending organization dedicated to promoting transparency, accountability, and integrity at all levels of the US tax system, while researching and developing simple and innovative tax-reform solutions to advance freedom and prosperity for all Americans.

Through FOIA requests, briefings, testimonies, advocacy, research studies, white papers, and educational programs, TRI will expose corruption, fraud, and incompetence within the US tax system. We will provide educational tools and resources for tax accountability to policy makers, grassroots organizations, and the American public.

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