WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — It’s tax season, but some lawmakers say the Internal Revenue Service is struggling to keep up.
“Even before the pandemic hit, the IRS was in trouble,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said.
Warren blames lobbyists and anti-tax extremists for slashing the IRS budget by 20% over the last decade, impacting technology, staff, and customer service.
“This means that the IRS can’t chase down wealthy tax cheats or adequately assist the majority of Americans trying to honestly fill out their taxes and claim refunds,” Warren said.
Warren and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) want the IRS to have the resources to fix the problem.
“What’s the path to getting a permanent fix… rather than just putting Band-Aids on it?” Wyden asked.
“The IRS, we need to get out of the dinosaur or the dark ages as you indicated, and we need to modernize our systems,” National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins said.
But some Republicans don’t think more funding is the answer.
“I, for one, am skeptical that technology and money would seem to be the answer to a lot of our problems these days, like it’s going to be the panacea,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said.
Cornyn says the problem is bigger than just slow service.
“They’re actually writing checks to people who are not entitled to that,” Cornyn said.
Cornyn believes the trouble started when things like stimulus payments created new work for the agency. He says it’s not the right time to make any more changes.