IRS Supports Tax Reform that Simplifies Tax Code, Koskinen Says

CCH Tax Day Report

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen spoke on June 21 at the 7th Annual IRS-Tax Policy Center Joint Research Conference on Tax Administration in Washington, D.C. At the event, Koskinen discussed the IRS’s stake in tax reform from the perspective of tax administration.

Tax Reform

“No one would be more delighted with a simplified tax code than IRS employees,” Koskinen said. Assisting taxpayers with tax obligations and compliance would be much easier if tax laws were less complicated and confusing, he added.

Koskinen outlined a few examples of how complicated the current tax code is, while noting “”the list goes on and on.” He noted, “There are six different definitions of a “child” in the tax code. There are also several different tax incentives for education. And the complexities of the eligibility rules for the EITC are well documented.” According to Koskinen, there would be significant benefits on the side of tax administration if the code were simplified, which would in turn make compliance easier for taxpayers.

The IRS does not take a position with regard to policy, Koskinen noted; “that’s the domain of the administration and Congress.” The IRS is interested, however, in how best to administer any potential tax law changes enacted as part of tax reform, he said.

Koskinen is also encouraging Congress to give the IRS sufficient lead time on tax law changes that may be enacted. The IRS, tax practitioners and taxpayers all need time to fully understand and prepare for any such changes, he said.

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff

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