Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen addressed attendees at the AICPA tax conference earlier this month in Washington DC.
“It promises to be another complicated filing season, and not just because of our budget situation”.
“Along with protecting against stolen identity refund fraud, our efforts to prepare for the upcoming filing season once again involve the Affordable Care Act. We are preparing our systems for additional ACA changes that took effect this year”.
Commenting on many concerns involving the IRS, including the perpetuating decline in the number and dollar amount of revenue received through individual audits, Mr Koskinen said that the “unacceptable” level of service due to budget cuts, the need to combat stolen identity refund fraud and potential delays in actioning expired taxed tax provisions (“tax extenders”) are priorities for addressing.
With respect to stolen taxpayer information and ensuing identity fraud, Mr Koskinen said that the IRS is taking a dual approach systemically to mitigate this. One, by improving taxpayer authentication on the front end and two, by obtaining more matching data to improve identification of fraudulent returns through the agency’s fraud filters.
With respect to funding, the IRS is hopeful that it will receive some of the budgetary increase which has been earmarked for the government in 2016. Mr Koskinen said that any further budgetary cuts on top of the cuts which have been coming for five years “would have devastating effects on taxpayers and our tax system”.
The IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was one of more than 20 government officials who spoke at the conference in Washington DC.