Close
Close

House Republicans seek to impeach IRS commissioner, cut agency budget

RFP
Tax Hot Topics: Republicans try to impeach IRS commissionerThe House Judiciary Committee convened a hearing May 24 to examine House Republicans’ misconduct charges against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

Koskinen was confirmed as commissioner in 2013 in the wake of allegations of political bias by the IRS related to its scrutiny of tax-exempt applications of certain Section 501(c)(4) organizations. He has been under fire by congressional Republicans for his management of the agency, especially in his response to various congressional inquiries concerning the preservation of emails and other documents related to the scandal.

Republicans have sought email correspondence from a former official in the IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division. The correspondence, thought to have been destroyed, was subsequently recovered. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who introduced a resolution to impeach Koskinen, testified that the commissioner provided false testimony and misled Congress repeatedly. Koskinen, who declined to testify at the hearing, citing scheduling issues, submitted a written statement saying, among other things, that he relied on IRS IT personnel, who believed the emails, which had been stored on tapes, had been destroyed.

Democrats in the House have accused Republicans of politicizing the issue. Ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, D-Mich., said the resolution to impeach Koskinen “arises from the worst partisan instincts” and stands no chance of success in the Senate.

Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee proposed cutting the IRS’s overall budget by $236 million for fiscal year 2017. The measure would also include various administrative provisions related to IRS oversight, including preventing the agency from proposing rules governing the treatment of Section 501(c)(4) entities, as well as limitations on the IRS’s ability to provide bonuses or rehire former employees.

Tax professional standards statement
This content supports Grant Thornton LLP’s marketing of professional services and is not written tax advice directed at the particular facts and circumstances of any person. If you are interested in the topics presented herein, we encourage you to contact us or an independent tax professional to discuss their potential application to your particular situation. Nothing herein shall be construed as imposing a limitation on any person from disclosing the tax treatment or tax structure of any matter addressed herein. To the extent this content may be considered to contain written tax advice, any written advice contained in, forwarded with or attached to this content is not intended by Grant Thornton LLP to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.

The information contained herein is general in nature and is based on authorities that are subject to change. It is not, and should not be construed as, accounting, legal or tax advice provided by Grant Thornton LLP to the reader. This material may not be applicable to, or suitable for, the reader’s specific circumstances or needs and may require consideration of tax and nontax factors not described herein. Contact Grant Thornton LLP or other tax professionals prior to taking any action based upon this information. Changes in tax laws or other factors could affect, on a prospective or retroactive basis, the information contained herein; Grant Thornton LLP assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any such changes. All references to “Section,” “Sec.,” or “§” refer to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.