By Liz Skinner, Crain News Service
WASHINGTON (April 4, 2014) — Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen said Americans deserve a simpler tax code that would make it easier for individuals and businesses to calculate how much they owe each year.
The nation's top tax regulator called on Congress and President Barack Obama to pass comprehensive tax reform — a step the nation hasn't taken since 1986.
It's too difficult to fend off special interests if the tax code is examined and amended one provision at a time, he said.
“The advantage to doing it all at once is that the lobbyists can't all fit through the door at the same time,” Mr. Koskinen said at the National Press Club March 2.
The IRS is responsible for enforcing the tax code and processes about 150 million individual returns a year. About 1 million individual returns will be audited, he said.
Quoting the IRS taxpayer advocate's estimate, Mr. Koskinen said individuals and businesses spend $6.1 billion a year to comply with the nation's complicated set of tax laws.
The commissioner praised the comprehensive approach taken by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., in a proposal he introduced in January, calling it “an important start.”