Lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this month to approve the IRS fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget. The IRS, like many federal agencies, is currently operating under a temporary spending bill.
Last year, the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee proposed to fund the IRS at $11.1 billion for FY 2018. However, Congress failed to pass a budget for the IRS before September 30, 2017. Since October 1, Congress has approved temporary spending bills to keep the federal government open.
The current temporary spending bill funds the IRS through January 19, 2018. “It is imperative that the Congress use the next few weeks to reach an agreement on spending levels in order to finalize FY 2018 appropriations,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Thad Cochran, R-Miss., said.
Tony Reardon, president, National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), recently said there is a “dire need” to fund the IRS. “The Service is now tasked with interpreting and implementing hundreds of pages of changes to the tax code. The agency faces this monumental work, on top of its everyday workload and preparing for the upcoming tax filing season, with a reduced budget and workforce that has been decimated in recent years due to budget cuts.” Reardon said. The NTEU represents IRS employees.
Former IRS Commissioner John Koskinen recently expressed concerns about the amount of work that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will create for the agency. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act makes countless changes to the Tax Code. Many of these changes took effect January 1, 2018.
“It’s a challenge,” Koskinen told Federal News Radio in Washington, D.C. Koskinen added that IRS personnel are a “great workforce” and a “can-do” group of employees.
As he has said before, Koskinen worried that the “wheels are going to fall off the IRS.” The IRS, he predicted, welcomes the challenge of implementing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. However, accepting that challenge without the resources necessarily risks failure,” he added.