Battle over IRS budget in Congress and its impact on fraud - KMOV.com

Battle over IRS budget in Congress and its impact on fraud

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(KMOV.com) - The weekend brought nice weather, but it didn't bring a slowdown to identity theft.

The Internal Revenue Service says they need more money to stop the fraud, but many lawmakers don't agree.

On March 3, IRS commissioner John Koskinen asked lawmakers for more money in Washington D.C.

“If we don't get more money than in the past five years, we have gotten less, if we stay where we are we are going to be handcuffed,” Koskinen told News 4.

He is asking for $12.4 billion, $1 billion more than the agency was awarded in 2014. There is a stark contrast between Democrats and Republicans over the IRS budget request. News 4 spoke with lawmakers from both parties.

“The IRS could use another trim or two. They are wrought with fraud waste and abuse,” said Rep. Ann Wagner (R), Missouri.

“The way to stop it is to have cops on the beat at the IRS if you will but congress refuses to give them the money to stop it... the majority in the House and Senate hate the IRS like the devil hates holy water they want it to fail,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D), Illinois.

The Government Accountability Office or GAO, investigates programs deemed as high risk for fraud and abuse; enforcement of tax laws was just added to the list.

“More money could help but it's not the only answer we have outstanding recommendations to the IRS to do things differently to use it more effectively and efficiently,” says Jay McTigue with the GAO.

But IRS Commissioner Koskinen says further cuts will impact the agency's ability to build better filters.

“It's a constant battle, we have filters they are trying to figure out what the filters are, we change the filters they change the applications,” Koskinen said.

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