Bay Ridge

Donovan says IRS needs overhaul

April 27, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan says the package of bills he voted for will make the Internal Revenue Service more accountable to the public. Photo courtesy of Donovan’s office
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Tax Day has come and gone, but U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan is still focused on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Charging that the IRS is in serious need of a major overhaul, Donovan (R-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island) recently voted to support a package of bills that he said are aimed at making the agency more accountable to the public.

“This package puts customer service ahead of employee bonuses, prevents tax-delinquent citizens from becoming tax collectors, and prohibits the IRS from rehiring employees who were already fired for misconduct,” Donovan said in a statement.

Tax Day this year was April 18.

Despite what Donovan called “the common sense principles” in the package of bills, the legislation faces stiff opposition from President Barack Obama.

Donovan voted to support each of the following bills:

  • H.R. 4890To ban bonus payments at the IRS until the Secretary of Treasury implements a comprehensive customer service strategy.

  • H.R. 1206: No Hires for the Delinquent IRS ActTo require the IRS to certify that its employees are not seriously delinquent on their taxes before hiring new agents.

  • H.R. 3724: Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce ActTo prohibit the IRS from rehiring anybody who was previously fired for misconduct.

  • H.R. 4903To prohibit the use of funds by the IRS to target American citizens for exercising their First Amendments rights.

  • H.R. 4885: IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending (OWES) Act: To prohibit the IRS from spending the service fees it collects without first obtaining Congressional approval.

Last year, the IRS failed to answer six out of 10 phone calls from citizens with questions about their taxes, Donovan said. One of the bills passed by the U.S. House of Representatives would suspend bonuses to IRS employees until the Department of the Treasury implements a customer service strategy.

Donovan also contended that from 2010 to 2013, the IRS rehired more than 300 employees who had already been fired from the agency and that at least 20 percent of the rehires had conduct and performance issues.

In response, the House passed legislation prohibiting the IRS from rehiring employees who had been previously fired.

Those who are delinquent on their taxes shouldn’t be in charge of collecting other people’s taxes, Donovan said. One of the bills requires the IRS to certify its employees are not seriously behind on tax payments.


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