C.E. Dyer reports that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen surprisingly told the truth about the tax code, evidencing why a massive change is long overdue. Koskinen noted that the tax code is so complicated that not even he does his own taxes.
Koskinen spoke about the complicated tax code at a National Press Club luncheon Wednesday: “Actually, I do get a refund myself. And what I usually do is then figure out how much of it I can use to start paying my estimated taxes for the next year, as that goes. So I’m just like everybody else – confused a little by the tax code.”
He continued, “I do not do my own tax return, even though I went to law school and took tax courses, but the code, compared to when I was in law school, is phenomenally more complex and more difficult to understand.”
The commissioner went on to explain that the tax code is “much more complicated than it needs to be.”
“My life is fairly simple,” he said. “You become the IRS Commissioner and you give up a lot of stuff and get rid of a lot of stuff, so I’m a relatively simple economic being – but the annual return is still much more complicated than it needs to be.”
Tax reform is on the to-do list for Congress, and Koskinen was asked if he thought getting it done would be more difficult than healthcare reform.
I think it is. As someone noted, healthcare reform, as people have discovered, is complicated but you’re dealing with a segment of the economy – the insurance companies and companies providing healthcare. When you’re talking about tax reform, you’re dealing with everybody in the economy and, so, it is complicated.
We haven’t done significant tax reform, as everybody knows, in over 30 years, and as you know, we don’t have, as I said, a dog in the fight of healthcare, we don’t have a dog in the fight of what goes on in tax policy.
Koskinen noted that this window presents a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to simplify the tax code.
“I do view tax simplification as not policy so much as administration. And I’ve been trying to get everybody to understand it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, apparently, to do tax reform and I hope we don’t lose the opportunity to do tax simplification at the same time,” he said.
The commissioner touched on the calls for abolishing the IRS:
Some time ago it was suggested you could do the one-page form and get rid of the IRS. And I said, well, you have to understand, even with a one-page 1040-EZ, somebody has to make sure the numbers are right and somebody has to collect the money. If you want to call it something other than the IRS and it makes you feel better, that’s OK with me.
But it is clear that – somebody asked in the transition, “well, if there were real simplification, is there anybody at the IRS who would be opposed?” And the answer is that everyone at the IRS would be delighted if you could make the tax code simpler, and you can’t make it too simple for us because ultimately our goal is to try to make it as easy as possible for taxpayers to know what they owe and to file it.
Well, the real reason why the IRS isn’t going anywhere is because, as we all know, they wield a great deal of power over the people — as we saw not long ago with the agency’s targeting of conservatives.
H/T: PJ Media