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Davis Questions to Secretary Mnuchin on Discriminatory Tax Enforcement

Congressman Danny K. Davis Statement/Question for Secretary Mnuchin on the FY19 Trump Budget

February 15, 2015

I am appalled at this Budget. After a 1.5 trillion tax cut for the wealthiest corporations and donors, the Trump Budget proposes cutting basic necessities of everyday Americans - Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food assistance, housing, and heating, just to name a few.

At a time when this Administration enacted complicated tax cuts, the Trump Budget fails to provide substantial increases to the primary services that help real Americans with their taxes – the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Clinics, the Low Income Tax Clinics, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly, and the Tax Payer Advocate. 

At a time when tens of millions of middle class taxpayers in SALT states will be grappling with tax increases and a Secretary who threatened them with audits, you propose a budget with paltry increases for substantive on-the-ground assistance to help taxpayers.

Further, I am disturbed that the Trump Budget lauds its investment in enforcement when your Private Debt Collection enforcement this year targeted SSDI and SSI recipients, subjected impoverished Social Security recipients to levies even though they were impoverished, and put 45% of the studied taxpayers into installment agreements they couldn’t afford.  It seems that your enforcement focuses on increasing the profits of debt collectors at the expense of the disabled, retirees, and impoverished counter to IRS policy and decency.  I cannot understand why you have refused to allow the Taxpayer Advocate to monitor these collections calls to understand these inappropriate actions.

I know that there are thousands of hardworking IRS employees who have dedicated themselves to helping taxpayers. Yet, your failure to prioritize everyday taxpayers, your current enforcement practices targeting vulnerable taxpayers with for-profit debt collectors, and your own threat to aggressively audit taxpayers in states like Illinois with high SALT expenses make me wary of this cruel Budget.

Mr. Secretary, what are you doing to remedy the harm to vulnerable taxpayers by your Private Debt Collections program?

Congressman Davis is the Ranking Member of the Human Resources Committee on the House Ways and Means Committee

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