NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), John A. Koskinen

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen spoke on June 21st at the 7th Annual IRS-Tax Policy Center Joint Research Conference on Tax Administration in Washington, D.C. At the event, Koskinen discussed the IRS’s stake in tax reform from the perspective of tax administration. Tax Reform “No one would be more delighted with a simplified tax code than IRS employees,” Koskinen said. Assisting taxpayers with tax obligations and compliance would be much easier if tax laws were less complicated and confusing, he added. Koskinen outlined a few examples of how complicated the current tax code is, while noting “”the list goes on and on.” He noted, “There are six different definitions of a “child” in the tax code. There are also several different tax incentives for education. And the complexities of the eligibility rules for the EITC are well documented.” According to Koskinen, there would be significant benefits on the side of tax administration if the code were simplified, which would in turn make compliance easier for taxpayers. The IRS does not take a position with regard to policy, Koskinen noted; “that’s the domain of the administration and Congress.” The IRS is interested, however, in how best to administer any potential tax law … Read More

IRS Commissioner Supports Simplification of Tax Code

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), NSTP Education, Tax Professionals, Taxpayer

Koskinen acknowledged that the tax code is difficult even for tax experts. “We have to simplify the tax code. It is beyond being impenetrable. I don’t know how anyone understands all the ramifications of it,” he told the audience. “I think the pressure is building from the public to do something about the complexity of the tax code.” At the same time, Koskinen does not believe it will happen anytime soon if it does not happen in 2015; 2016 is a nonstarter because it is a presidential election year. He predicted that, if not this year, than it will likely happen within the next five years. He advised that, over that time period, there will be people working on it in great detail. “I would simply say that it’s instructive if you look at both the House and Senate at the number of individual congressmen and senators who have taken a position that tax reform is important, either for corporations or for corporations and individuals as well. You would almost think there is a quorum there if you could pull them all together for it.” Koskinen spoke of his excellent working relationship with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul … Read More