Washington, D.C. – Executive Director Chad Hooper of the Professional Managers Association (PMA) – formed in 1981 by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Managers as a national membership association representing the interests of professional managers, management officials and non-bargaining unit employees in the federal government and within the IRS – released the following statement regarding House Democrats proposal for a $1 billion funding increase for the IRS:
“Any funding increase for the IRS is better than the decade of budget cuts that grossly diminished IRS capacity. We appreciate House Democrats for recognizing the IRS’s current funding struggles and the need to provide additional appropriations. We also appreciate that this will top last year’s funding increase, making it another historic investment in the IRS’s mission. However, we remain concerned that Congress is doing too little, too late. The proposal for $13.6 billion in funding remains below the President’s $14.1 billion budget request. It is also nearly $3 billion below the IRS’s peak funding of $16.4 billion in FY 2011, when accounting for inflation. The IRS has not functioned at full capacity since FY 2011. Yet Congress has demanded more and more from the Service, pushing its mission far outside the traditional realm of tax administration while failing to fund the agency comparably. The IRS is on an unsustainable path and piecemeal budget boosts are insufficient to allow the Service to meet taxpayer needs,” Hooper stated.
“There is a world where we could celebrate this funding increase without hesitation. If Congress consistentlyfunded the IRS, the IRS would feel comfortable using its whole budget and not saving funds for subsequent cuts. If Congress funded the IRS on time, the Service would be able to use funds to enact long-term plans rather than anticipate funding lapses. If Congress independently appropriated money for federal pay raises, the IRS would be able to dedicate its full budget to taxpayer services, IT modernization, and other mission critical items,” Hooper explained. “But Congress does not do these things. Appropriations are inconsistent, late, and agencies are often forced to pull from their coffers to fund pay raises – nearly half of the $1 billion will pay for unfunded cost of living raises. As a result, even a $1 billion funding increase in FY 2023 is unlikely to meet the IRS’s long-term needs.”
“The next fiscal year begins in about three months. Lawmakers are already expecting a continuing resolution. The appropriations process is broken, and agencies pay the price. The IRS is the single largest revenue source for the federal government. This term, Congress has passed laws funding programs to provide service dogs for veterans, developing trainings for supply chain risk management, and assisting nonprofits in enhancing their cybersecurity. All these laws are meaningless if federal agencies do not have taxpayer funds to implement them. Without the IRS, none of Congress’s important objectives for America will come to fruition. Put simply, we fund freedom, but Congress is not funding us,” Hooper said.
“The $1 billion bump in funding is a welcome proposal, but we encourage the full House and Senate to do more. We encourage lawmakers to seek multi-year funding for the IRS to ensure the Service can meet taxpayer needs and growing Congressional demands far into the future. Regardless of the instability of the appropriations process, the IRS needs some stability to provide for the American people. If Congress cannot fund the government on time, it should insulate the IRS from the dysfunction so some facets of our government can continue to work,” Hooper concluded.
Read PMA’s letter to lawmakers urging additional appropriations here.