IRS All Worked Up Over Budget

Seems the IRS Oversight Board heard a whole lot of whining from the Chief Revenooers, last week, regarding their expected 2015 budget which, among other things, suggests that IRS will have to “absorb” $345 million in additional costs, which will eventuate in reduced “customer service,” enforcement and information technology infrastructure.

Let us shed a tear.

“The IRS’ budget and taxpayer needs are moving in opposite directions,” quoth Board Chairman Cherecwich.  “This trend is not sustainable in either the short- or long-term and the effects can be seen both in declines in customer service and enforcement, and also lost opportunities.”

The Revenooers are all worked up about the “challenges” which they face, which include:

  • IRS charge in FY 2015 to implement a number of unfunded mandates, not the least of which is the now infamous “Affordable Care Act.”
  • Dealing with an ever-increasing number of taxpayers.
  • Growing operational costs, which have increased by 3.1% since FY 2013.
  • Filing season uncertainties, including the as yet (on the date of this writing) question of whether various expired Internal Revenue Code provisions will be extended by a delinquent Congress.
  • Training issues.

Meanwhile, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) made

note, last week, about how IRS appropriately used its legislative authority to temporarily hire employees at salaries higher than those typically given to Federal government senior executives.  You got it – they whine because they have no dough, but they pay their higher ups more than other comparable government worker bees.  Makes sense?

Anyway, TIGTA’s review found that critical pay positions were “adequately justified,” and that the need to recruit or retain exceptionally well qualified individuals was demonstrated.

Meanwhile, closer to home, we hear California Attorney Generaless, Kamala Harris is getting sued by Americans for Prosperity for allegedly demanding disclosure of some of their donor information (namely, names of donor-folk) and threatening harsh penalties if they don’t comply.  Seems Kamala is taking a page from the Lois Lerner text book relative to going after legit 51(c)(4) exempt organizations.  And this, after she had previously been sued by another conservative group, the Center for Competitive Politics whose donor lists she also sought.

And finally, this week, comes word of one of Obama’s stimulus programs, in the form of a contract recently awarded by the BLM to pay $58,650 to load, haul, and dispose of manure from a corral in Oregon, which holds wild horses and burros found on the Oregon range.

Fox News quotes the BLM in stating that “manure shall be wind-rowed, piled if necessary, loaded, and hauled to a site for a beneficial use….if there is no beneficial use for the manure, then it shall be legally disposed of in a landfill or by another approved disposal practice.”

Gives new meaning to the term “shovel ready,” don’t ya think?

CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR – This article contains general information about various tax matters.  You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation.

Jeff Quinn, the author of this article, is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno.  He can be reached at 831-7288, welcomes comments at jquinn@ashleyquinncpas.com, and invites readers to consider his other commentary at http://blog.nolo.com/taxes.

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