The Senate Appropriations Committee has proposed to set the IRS budget for fiscal year 2018 at $11.1 billion, matching the funding level in the House bill passed earlier this year.
As with previous budget allocations, the Senate Appropriations funding includes stipulations that the IRS cannot use funding to target certain groups for regulatory scrutiny – a reference to the targeting scandal of several years ago when the IRS was accused of targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
In an explanatory statement released Nov. 20, Appropriations Republicans wrote, “The IRS continues to ignore the impact of its own behavior on the attitudes of taxpayers. When the IRS takes actions that represent a serious breach of the trust of the American people, it undermines taxpayers’ faith in the impartiality of the agency.”
Earlier this month, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen gave a farewell news conference and bluntly said Congress is to blame for many of the agency’s shortcomings because it failed to provide adequate funding. Congressional Republicans have cut the IRS budget by nearly 20 percent since 2010, penalizing the agency for the targeting scandal and for what they said was stonewalling by Koskinen as they investigated the matter.