IRS chief: Funding increase more likely after Tea Party, ACA dies down

The IRS commissioner said Wednesday that his agency would have a better chance to get more funding after the current Tea Party controversy dies down and its role in ObamaCare is implemented.

John Koskinen, who took over the reins of the tax agency in December, said he hoped the IRS and Congress “can have a more normal discussion about our budget” at that point.

“I hope that one of the legacies of my time as IRS commissioner will be that we put the agency’s funding on a more solid and sustainable footing,” Koskinen said at a speech at the National Press Club.

Koskinen has said for months that boosting the IRS’s funding would be one of his top priorities, with the agency getting around $900 million less this year than it did in 2010.

But Republicans – never the biggest fans of the IRS to begin with – have sought to slash the agency’s budget after it acknowledged giving improper scrutiny to conservative groups seeking tax-exempt 501(c)(4) status.

GOP lawmakers also are skeptical of the agency’s ability to oversee the individual mandate and subsidies for health insurance, key planks of the healthcare law.

Still, Koskinen made clear that implementing the agency’s role in the Affordable Care Act and a new law cracking down on offshore tax dodgers, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, would also be at the top of his to-do list.

He added that smoothly getting those priorities off the ground would have to impress the lawmakers that control the IRS’s purse strings.

“Whatever else we are going to do, we are going to implement the non-discretionary legislative mandates we have been given: the Affordable Care Act and FATCA,” he said.