Comments on IRS funding.


May 22, 2000

On May 22, 2000, Tax Executives Institute submitted the following letter from TEI President Charles W. Shewbridge, III to Congressman Amo Houghton, Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways and Means, concerning the 2001FY budget for the Internal Revenue Service.

On behalf of Tax Executives Institute, I urge the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee to ensure that the Internal Revenue Service receives adequate funding for its fiscal year 2001 operations.

As the preeminent association of business tax executives, TEI members know how critical it is to invest in and plan for the future. Two years ago, Congress took the decisive step of mandating an extensive reorganization of the IRS. This change does not come without cost. It is now time to appropriate the funds necessary to fulfill the promises of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act. It is also important to move forward with the IRS's technological modernization.

TEI's 5,000 members are accountants, attorneys, and other business professionals who work for the largest 2,800 companies in the United States and Canada; they are responsible for conducting the tax affairs of their companies and ensuring their compliance with the tax laws. TEI is dedicated to the development and effective implementation of sound tax policy, to promoting the uniform and equitable enforcement of the tax laws, and to reducing the cost and burden of administration and compliance to the benefit of taxpayers and government alike. The Institute is committed to maintaining a system that works -- one that builds upon the principle of voluntary compliance and is consistent with sound tax policy, one that taxpayers can comply with, and one in which the IRS can effectively perform its audit function without unduly burdening taxpayers.

Equally important, the companies represented by TEI's membership know that to be successful, they must plan ahead and ensure that adequate resources are devoted to employee training, customer service, and other core functions. As a group, they applauded Congress's decision to manage the IRS more like a business.

If the leaders of the IRS -- including Larry Langdon, a former TEI president, who now serves as Commissioner of the IRS's new Large and Mid-Size Business Division -- are to rebuild the agency's credibility and effectiveness, the agency must be...

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