WASHINGTON, D.C. (JULY 13, 2016)
A self-styled tax watchdog group has launched an effort to independently audit the Internal Revenue Service, with the help of taxpayers.
The Tax Revolution Institute— a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that says it promote “justice and integrity in the tax system”—has created a new website, AuditIRS.com, where it hopes to collect personal experiences from taxpayers about their encounters with the IRS.
The group plans to conduct an “audit” of the IRS’s treatment of individual taxpayers and small businesses and the agency’s own employees, work culture and finances. It will also examine the taxpayer advice given by the IRS along with IRS policies and enforcement.
“For decades, the IRS has failed to live up to the standards of transparency that it enforces on the American public,” Tax Revolution Institute executive director Dan Johnson said in a statement.
The group issued a report in April claiming the IRS lacks independent oversight following the suspension of operations of the IRS Oversight Board after it failed to enlist enough members to make up the necessary quorum.
Nevertheless, the IRS’s finance and operations are frequently audited by the Government Accountability Office and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The IRS has also come under fire in recent years from Congress, following revelations in 2013 that the IRS gave extra scrutiny to political groups applying for tax-exempt status, and the agency’s expenses, employee bonuses, and performance are the subjects of frequent congressional hearings. Lawmakers are currently weighing a possible impeachment resolution against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
The Tax Revolution Institute is asking any taxpayers, business owners, government employees to submit information about their experiences with the IRS, either positive or negative, to AuditIRS.com. The group said it will never publish any personally identifying information unless it is invited to do so by the person who provided it.
TRI plans to research the submissions it receives, file Freedom of Information Act requests, and examine IRS policy to determine how the IRS treats the American people.