Finance

Hatch: IRS is 'most feared federal agency in the country'

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Thursday that the Internal Revenue Service "is the most feared federal agency in the country."

"I wish I could say 'Happy Tax Day,' to you, but there really isn't anything good or happy about it," Hatch said at a press conference hosted by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The event came several days before the April 18 tax-filing deadline.

Hatch called the process of filing taxes an "onerous annual chore." He added that "you sure as heck hope that the IRS won't be asking you for more of your hard-earned money after you file your taxes."

Hatch was not the only lawmaker to blast the IRS at the event.

Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said the IRS is "ineffective, it's inept, it is crooked and it's vindictive."

He also said the identity of his Individual Retirement Account was stolen. "I've been a victim of the IRS' ineffectiveness, and several of my constituents have been victims of their vindictiveness and their targeting of conservative groups," Flores, a certified public accountant, said.

Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.) who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's tax-policy subcommittee, said the committee's oversight over the past several years "has led to three IRS commissioners leaving in shame, and this fourth one is on thin ice right now."

"We're not going to stop until we get to the bottom of the IRS issue and the IRS comes completely clean," he said. "It's too important to the American people to rest on our laurels on this."

ATR President Grover Norquist said, "In the last years, it's become increasingly clear ... that there's something fundamentally wrong with the IRS, with the bureaucracy, with the individuals running that, and they have fought every effort to reform."

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