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July 31, 2014
Exclusive: Koskinen Says Congress May Never Be Satisfied by IRS Probe

Tax Analysts announces exclusive interview with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Tax Analysts, the nonprofit, independent provider of federal, state, and international tax news and analysis, today released an article featuring an exclusive interview between IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Tax Analysts reporter William Hoffman.

In the hourlong interview, Koskinen defended the IRS’s record of disclosure in the investigations into the exempt organizations controversy; criticized congressional budget cuts to the agency; and promoted the new Form 1023-EZ, which he says expedites small groups’ applications for tax-exempt status and may help identify illegitimate EOs.

When asked about the missing e-mails in the exempt organizations controversy, Koskinen said he believes that even if those e-mails are recovered and the IRS is exonerated, congressional investigators will not acknowledge fault and may shift the argument to a new accusation.

“Koskinen said his agency has been delivering all information the committees demanded,” writes Hoffman. “The effort has been hampered by an IRS information technology infrastructure that he said averages 15 years old, and an e-mail system that must be scoured computer by computer, with little or no central management in place.”

“Koskinen blamed many of the Service's problems on Congress's continuing squeeze on the IRS budget,” Hoffman writes. “He cited a familiar litany of complaints -- that the IRS's fiscal 2014 budget is about $1 billion less than that for fiscal 2010 and that agency employment is down almost 10,000 in the same period -- while adding that the IRS is currently hiring only one new employee for every five it loses.”

Resource constraints have contributed to the IRS’s decision to create Form 1023-EZ as a response to a backlog of 60,000 section 501(c)(3) applications, the commissioner found when he took office in December 2013. Koskinen told Hoffman the new three-page expedited form will allow the IRS to evaluate small groups’ applications for tax-exempt status more quickly and weed out illegitimate exempt organizations.

Read the full article and the transcript of the interview here.

For more information or to speak with Hoffman, please contact Shaima Cardillo at 703-531-4852 or or Shannon Meraw at 703-531-4835 or

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