Message from the Chair, C. Wells Hall III
The Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association (the “Section”) is committed to its mission “to serve our members and the public by providing education about taxes and tax systems, and by providing leadership to support the development of an equitable, efficient and workable tax system.” The Section has consistently supported the adequate funding of the Internal Revenue Service (the “Service”) and applauds Congress and the President for providing increased funding for the Service over the next 10 years in Part 3 of the Inflation Reduction Act (the “IRA”). The funding is intended to counteract years of underfunding that has impaired the ability of the Service to serve the American taxpayer. This much-needed infusion of funds will go a long way towards addressing current administrative backlogs, modernizing the agency, and enhancing its ability to do its job. A fully functioning Service is more important now than ever as Congress increasingly looks to the Service to not only collect the revenue needed to fund government through our system of voluntary compliance but also to deliver a broad range of socio-economic benefits through tax expenditure provisions in the Internal Revenue Code.
Many Section members, regularly involved in representing taxpayers before the Service, have expressed concerns over the distribution of misinformation, false media postings, and inflammatory comments suggesting that the increased funding for the Service will be used to “arm” and “militarize” the Service. To the contrary, we believe that a fully funded Service will only assist tax professionals in representing clients, and we repudiate those who suggest that the enhanced funding for the Service in the IRA will turn our 80,000 dedicated Service personnel into some sort of an armed militia.
Further, we fully endorse the positions of the American College of Tax Counsel (ACTC) and others expressing concern that these dangerous and overheated criticisms of the funding for the Service in the IRA will undermine tax administration and imperil the Service’s workforce, and that demanding that they should cease immediately.
We are also aware that in response to the “abundance of misinformation and false social media postings, some of them with threats directed at the Service and its employees,” Commissioner Rettig was compelled to announce a comprehensive review of existing safety and security measures and the adoption of measures to ensure the safety of all Service personnel. We share Commissioner Rettig’s concern for the safety of those working and visiting Service facilities, and fully support Commissioner Rettig’s initiatives to ensure that Service employees are safe in their jobs.
We pledge whatever assistance we can provide to the Service and the Department of Treasury in the protection of the respect for and security of their loyal and dedicated workforce. We also hope that our members will express their views on this topic through every opportunity to counter the dissemination of such false and inflammatory statements.