Senator Carper Highlights the Importance of Improving Equity in the American Tax System Through the IRS

Today, at the Senate Finance Committee hearing “Examining How the Tax Code Affects High-Income Individuals and Tax Planning Strategies,” U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) focused on how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) operates to strengthen the nation’s fiscal health and improve the equity of our tax system. Following the recent announcement regarding the launch of the IRS Direct Free File program, Senator Carper also illustrated the importance of improving IRS customer service for American taxpayers.

During the hearing Senator Carper highlighted that the wealthy should pay their fair share in taxes:

“Once a year, I do a town hall meeting in each county, and we would invite the IRS to come. We’d invite the State Division of Revenue to come. We’d actually provide services on-site on a Saturday, to scores of people who would bring their taxes and say ‘I need some help in filling them out.’ […]  I’ll never forget this one lady in the back of the room who raised her hand, and she said, ‘I don’t mind paying my fair share of taxes, I just want to make sure other people are as well.’ I’ve never forgotten those words.”

Senator Carper also emphasized the importance of fully funding the IRS in order to fulfill its mission, and applauded the strong leadership that IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel brings to the agency:

“I’ve sat on this Committee for almost twenty years. I can’t tell you how many times we have had IRS commissioners come before us, and said […] they needed support from us [for things like] technology, people, the clarification of tax codes, and so forth. […] It’s been a consistent message. […] We need the IRS. We need not just great leadership; I think we have that with Danny Werfel. We need the resources, including the human technology, in order to do the job. And we need to be able to provide service. When people have questions […], they call to get an answer and they get a straight answer. We get a lot of calls in my offices in Delaware, from people that need help and we help them.”

A video of Senator Carper’s questions at today’s hearing can be found here.