Lawmakers Seek to Punish IRS and Reward TIGTA

A House subcommittee led by Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) agreed on a spending measure that would cut the IRS’ budget by 24 percent in 2014.  And on the other side of the coin, the bill would mean a $5.5 million budget increase for TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration), the agency that has brought to light so many of the recent IRS missteps.

The bill is meant to “crack down,” “clean house,” and otherwise encourage the agency to be more careful and responsible in its administration of the tax laws.  It would also specifically address most of the problems we have read about in the news these last several months:

  • political targeting
  • training videos
  • lavish conferences
  • employee bonuses

Basically it would withhold funding until the IRS implements TIGTA recommendations.  TIGTA’s primary responsibility is to keep an eye on the activities and procedures at the Internal Revenue Service.  They are continually conducting audits, reporting on their results, and offering “recommendations” to the IRS when it is shown that they have fallen short.  Well, lawmakers are now hoping to make certain recommendations mandatory — mandatory in the sense that if they don’t make the changes then they won’t get full funding.

But the bill still has a long ways to go: first to the full Appropriations Committee, then to the House floor, then on to the Democrat-controlled Senate where it will face plenty of opposition.