Washington DC – Today National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) Vice President for Tax Policy Cathy Schultz applauded Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for expressing concern to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over the agency’s issuance of temporary regulations and its use of private contactors to investigate a corporate taxpayer.
In a letter sent to Commissioner Koskinen on Wednesday, Senator Hatch detailed his concerns about recent IRS practices, including hiring a private law firm to aid in investigating a corporate taxpayer and conducting sworn interviews as part of that investigation. Senator Hatch also expressed concern about the IRS and Treasury Department issuing a temporary regulation allowing private contractors to conduct taxpayer investigations after the IRS had already hired the law firm.
“We applaud Senator Hatch for his diligent oversight of the IRS within his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the agency,” said NFTC Vice President for Tax Policy Cathy Schultz. “With its recent actions, the IRS is setting a bad precedent for the investigation of taxpayers, including exceeding the limits of the agency’s statutory authority and raising red flags about the protection of confidential taxpayer information and the government’s stewardship of taxpayer dollars in hiring third party contractors.”
Among the concerns outlined in the Senator’s letter were that the hiring of outside contractors to conduct an investigation of a taxpayer “1) appears to violate federal law and the express will of the Congress; 2) removes taxpayer protections by allowing the performance of inherently governmental functions by private contractors; and 3) calls into question the IRS’s use of its limited resources.”
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