By: Leandra Lederman
123 tax law professors recently signed a letter (available here) urging House leaders “to oppose any resolution to impeach or censure John Koskinen, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.” Full disclosure: I am among the signatories. The letter explains not only that “[w]e believe that nothing that has been reported provides any basis for impeachment or censure” but also that impeachment or censure will undermine tax administration:
“The IRS carries out a vitally important mission for our country. Respect for the IRS fosters the voluntary compliance that is essential for our revenue system to work.
Impeachment or censure will harm the country by weakening our revenue system. Impeachment or censure would disrupt the functioning of the IRS—which has had four Commissioners in as many years—leading to increased tax evasion, reduced revenue collection, and a higher national debt. Impeachment or censure would also set a dangerous precedent and deter talented people from working to improve the country’s struggling revenue system.”
This is an important message and I hope House leaders will listen.
For further reading on why the House should not impeach or censure IRS Commissioner Koskinen, see my July 20, 2016 post, “Don’t Impeach IRS Commissioner Koskinen“—which discusses both some background and the American College of Tax Counsel’s letter to House leaders opposing censure—and Bryan Camp’s strongly worded post on the Procedurally Taxing blog.