Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told House lawmakers in a March 6 hearing that the IRS needs additional funding to properly implement the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Mnuchin’s testimony before the House Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee centered on the Trump Administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget proposal for Treasury and IRS operations.

More Funding

“Implementing the law will require a great deal of work in 2018 and 2019,” Mnuchin testified. “Accordingly, the IRS will need $397 million in order to carry out this critical mandate.”

The request for additional IRS funding would span over two years. According to Mnuchin, the increased resources would provide an update to “antiquated” telephone systems and technology.

IRS Budget Cuts

Trump’s FY 2019 budget request proposes $11.1 billion in base funding for the IRS, cut from $11.2 billion. Democratic lawmakers were particularly concerned with the budget’s proposal to cut IRS funding while the Service is tasked with implementing tax law changes pursuant to the TCJA.

“After almost a decade of cuts nearing $1 billion, leading to a loss of more than 17,000 employees, the IRS would suffer a $100 million reduction in this request,” ranking member Mike Quigley, D-Ill., said in his opening statement. “In order to meet this new funding level, IRS would need to reduce staffing further by 6,000,” he added.

Mnuchin told lawmakers that he has been meeting every day with a combined team of individuals from the Office of Tax Policy at Treasury and members of the IRS leadership team on the TCJA. Proper implementation of the new tax law is a “top priority,” he testified. “It is so important that we get the additional funding for it.”