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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Scandals, Obamacare mandate keep IRS Commissioner Koshinen busy -- Koskinen says he’s an ‘optimist’ as crunch time nears -- By Meghan Drake, The Washington Times

Just days after clashing sharply with Republican lawmakers over his agency's political woes, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen said Wednesday he remained an "optimist" despite multiple investigations demanding more information into suspected IRS targeting of conservative and tea party groups for special scrutiny.

"It's illusory to think that we'll never have a problem or make a mistake, that things will always go the way we've planned," Mr. Koskinen told a National Press Club luncheon. "Instead, my goal has been for us to find problems quickly, fix them promptly, make sure they stay fixed and, perhaps, most important be transparent about the entire process."

House Republicans exploded last week when Mr. Koskinen — who was not at the agency when the suspected targeting first took place — said it will take years to fully comply with requests for information and records in the scandal. The commissioner acknowledged Wednesday that the targeting charges meant that "doubt has been cast by some on the independence of the IRS."

Mr. Koskinen's remarks come at a busy time for the IRS. Not only are six investigations underway over possibly politicized audits, but tax season is in full gear, and the IRS is set to play a critical role in enforcing the insurance mandate at the heart of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"If we can have a smooth filing season next year, including the appropriate review of the returns of taxpayers claiming tax credits for health insurance," he said, "the public and the Congress will have to say: That's some organization with an amazing workforce."

"It may take me a while to convince taxpayers that we're from the IRS and we're here to help you," he added. "The IRS is an agency of career civil servants who are dedicated to serving the American taxpayer in a fair and impartial manner."

But, he said, the IRS will not stop going after those trying to illegally exploit "loopholes" in the tax code.

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