The Internal Revenue Service has seen its budget cut several times over the last few years–under new legislation passed by the House Appropriations subcommittee on financial services June 17, the IRS budget would be slashed to its lowest levels in more than five years.
The bill would downsize the IRS budget by $341 million–about $1.5 billion less than President Barack Obama’s request–to approximately $11 billion for the 2015 fiscal year.
“It should be obvious to every member of Congress that slashing the budget and reducing staffing at the agency…is not only counterproductive–it is a danger to the effective functioning of our voluntary tax compliance system.”
The subcommittee said in a statement after the bill’s passing that the funding level is sufficient enough for the IRS to perform core duties, but requires the agency to make efficient and better use of the budget.
The agency has a history of using funds to produce “inappropriate videos and conferences,” spending $4.1 million on a 2010 conference in California and at least $50,000 to produce a Star Trek parody video.
Collen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union said she was disappointed by the bill.
“Millions of individual taxpayers and businesses will bear the brunt of the severe impacts of these cuts for an agency which already has lost 10,000 employees from reduced funding over the past four years,” said Kelley.
She believes that because of budget cuts that more taxpayer phone calls will go unanswered and filing assistance for low-income citizens and the elderly will be struck down.
“It should be obvious to every member of Congress that slashing the budget and reducing staffing at the agency responsible for collecting 93 percent of government revenue is not only counterproductive, it is a danger to the effective functioning of our voluntary tax compliance system.”