Finance

Brady: IRS ‘lost credibility’ but can regain it

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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said he thinks the Internal Revenue Service has “lost credibility” but can regain it.

When the IRS starts to address its issues in an objective way, Brady said Thursday at an event at the Brookings Institution, there will be more bipartisan support for providing the agency with more resources for customer service.

“I’m anxious frankly for an IRS commissioner who I don’t know whose party they’re in, who runs that agency differently than what we have today,” he said. 

{mosads}The IRS needs to use its funds better, Brady said. Republicans argue that the IRS has spent its money poorly and has taken money away from customer service to “more political uses,” he said.

Brady also expressed concern about the IRS’s implementation of ObamaCare and recent Government Accountability Office reports that found there are areas where there is a risk that audits could be driven by political considerations.

“I long for the day when the IRS was truly an independent agency, where I frankly couldn’t tell you which party the commissioner was from when they were in our office twice a year talking about their challenges on customer service,” he said. “Those days seem like a quaint memory.”

Brady also talked about his priorities for tax reform. He intends to work on international tax reform legislation this year and lay the foundation for comprehensive tax reform.

He said that tax reform should be bold and focus on economic growth.

“I’m convinced tax reform that merely aims to place America into the middle of the pack won’t cut it,” he said. “Only by aiming high and taking a very ambitious approach to pro-growth tax reform will we be successful in the near and the long term.”

He added later that “it’s more politically difficult to do mediocre tax reform than it is to do something that gets people excited about being competitive again.”

Brady also said he think tax reform should be revenue-neutral when accounting for economic effects, but that “we’re not going to leave growth on the table if we’re off a dime or two.”

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