Pascrell cites colleagues urging Biden to nominate the chief tax legal professional

0
97
The Assembly Committee votes yes to legalization to make progress on community reinvestment but urges proponents to continue their work on justice measures

Pascrell cites colleagues urging Biden to appoint the chief tax attorney

No Senate-approved senior tax officer for over seven years

PATERSON, NJ – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), chairman of the House of Representatives’s subcommittee on ways and means on oversight, led four colleagues today to appoint President Biden to appoint a new assistant attorney general for the tax department to appoint. For 2,597 days – over seven years – there has not been a chief tax attorney confirmed by the Senate. The letter is from Reps. Pascrell, Judy Chu (D-CA-27), Dwight Evans (D-PA-03), Tom Suozzi (D-NY-03) and Steven Horsford (D-NV-04) signed.

“It is impossible for the American people to have confidence in their tax system unless the government itself shows a sustained commitment to deploy the machinery of this system and make it fair to all citizens. More generally, the institutional atrophy that failed under your predecessor, particularly within the Justice Department, must be reversed so that our nation does not become accustomed to decaying government capacity and overt corruption. We therefore urge you to urgently appoint a deputy attorney general who is responsible for the tax department. ” members write to President Biden.

The tax department is “responsible for processing or monitoring most federal tax criminal proceedings”. In their letter, members argue that continued reliance on an acting attorney general hinders the division’s ability to promote voluntary tax law compliance, enforce the country’s tax laws and, perhaps most importantly, increase public confidence in the integrity of the tax system uphold – the requirements for the assignment of the Tax Department of the Ministry of Justice.

The text of the members’ letter is listed below.

July 15, 2021

President Joe Biden

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Biden:

As members of the Tax Committee of Congress, we share your goal of making America more tax fair by improving tax enforcement, especially against wealthy tax evaders. But to date there are 2,597 days[1] – seven years and a month – since there was a Senate-approved deputy attorney general in the tax department at the Justice Department. A fair tax system requires a full-time law enforcement officer. So when you enter the 176th day of your presidency, we ask that you designate an officer for this position as soon as possible.

The tax department is “responsible for processing or monitoring most federal tax criminal proceedings”.[2] Persistent reliance on an acting attorney general hinders the division’s ability to promote voluntary tax compliance, enforce the country’s tax laws, and perhaps most importantly, maintain public confidence in the integrity of the tax system – the precise requirements for the division’s mission.[3]

This deterioration is evident in the continued existence of America’s two tier tax system, documented in a seemingly endless litany of media reports and statistics highlighting the ability of our wealthiest citizens to cheat their taxes with impunity.[4] The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner recently estimated the annual tax gap could exceed $ 1 trillion[5] while he openly acknowledges that his agency is auditing the working poor rather than the wealthy tax evaders.[6] We believe your advice and selection of a respected and qualified candidate for the Assistant Attorney General of the Tax Department is now required.

Better tax enforcement begins with the IRS receiving real support after years of deliberate underfunding.[7] To that end, your proposal to increase the IRS budget by $ 80 billion over 10 years is a turning point that may lay the foundation for a truly fair tax system. But the IRS cannot do its job best without a fully dedicated partner in the Justice Department.

There is no question that the underfunding and understaffing of the IRS is putting our federal tax system at risk. Americans increasingly believe that their tax system is rigged against them. This belief is credible as the government has repeatedly failed to vigorously pursue and deter rich tax bouts. It is impossible for the American people to have confidence in their tax system unless the government itself shows a sustained commitment to deploy the machinery of this system and make it fair to all citizens. More generally, the institutional atrophy that failed under your predecessor, particularly within the Justice Department, must be reversed so that our nation does not become accustomed to decaying government capacity and overt corruption. Therefore, we urge you to urgently appoint an Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Department.

Our window of action is narrow and continues to close every day. We look forward to working with you to make the American tax system truly fair.

With best regards,

###

[1] https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/assistant-attorney-general-kathryn-keneally-justice-department-s-tax-division-announced-her

[2] https://www.justice.gov/tax/about-division

[3] Ibid.

[4] See e.g. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/28/opinion/trump-tax-code.html, https://www.propublica.org/article/the-secret-irs-files- Fundgrube- von-never-before-seen-records-reveal-how-the-wealthiest-avoid-income-tax, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/14/business/dealbook/private-equity- taxes. html

[5] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-treasury-irs/irs-chief-says-1-trillion-in-taxes-goes-uncollected-every-year-idUSKBN2C0255; Our oversight subcommittee held an insightful hearing on tax justice last October, see https://waysandmeans.house.gov/legislation/hearings/taxpayer-fairness

[6] https://www.propublica.org/article/irs-sorry-but-its-just-easier-and-cheaper-to-audit-the-poor

[7] See https://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-irs-was-gutted

(Visited 35 times, 3 visits today)