tv Newsmakers CSPAN February 28, 2016 10:00am-10:37am EST
caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] n a house hearing on terror threats around the world. after that the senators discuss the process for nominating a supreme court justice. this week where sitting down with the rs commissioner john toss in it. commissioner john koskinen i. donald trump is saying that he by then audited, sevier rs. i know you cannot talk about some of its personal taxes, but would somebody be audited every year. he says it is going back every
year of the obama administration. we cannot talk about individual cases, but it would be rare for anyone to be audited every year. usually, when there is an audit and it is cleared up, it is a number of years before you hear from us again. unless something in your next return pops up. but as a matter of formal auditing, it would be rare. donald trump also says he is not going to release his tax returns while he is being audited. is there something from the irs that prevents him from releasing his tax returns. john: the taxpayer controls his returns. there is nothing that would keep youth -- you from sharing that information. >> what you make of his claims that he needs the audit to be cleared up? john: we stress that we are in tax and ministration so we have
no stake in any of the primaries or comments being made by candidates. from our standpoint, if you are being audited and you want to do something else, you can do that. >> one of the other things he says he is being audited because he's a strong christian. what are the reasons that would trigger an audit. john: that would not be something that would trigger an audit. we don't care who you are, what party, whether you go to church or not. if you hear from us in response to an inquiry, it is about something in your tax return. if someone had that same issue, they would hear from us as well. they would never be a case that you would be audited because of any religious persuasion you
might have. said as part of his attacks plan he would abolish the irs. you have a response to that? tax policy is the domain of the administration and congress. from my experience in the private sector, i a bit believer in tax simplification. i would not have an interest in any in particular. we would be supportive of simplifying things. as i've said in a past, even if andot it down to a postcard you filled it out and melted then, you would need somebody to receive a postcard, receive the money, and make sure the numbers on the postcard are the right numbers.
if you want to call it something other than the irs and it makes you feel better about it, that would be all right. last year we collected about 3.3 children dollars -- trillion dollars. someone has to collect that money and make sure it is the right amount. >> we are and taxis and where you are collecting those trillions. the rs has announced there was a breach last year were thousands of taxpayer accounts were breached and people were trying to steal identities. what is the state of the irs cyber security initiative? i find it very
high-priority. we are fortunate in the sense that the database of the irs. when people think of cyber breaching, it is not been breach. of -- on thations bit -- database. withroblem where dealing is very sophisticated criminals around the world who have a huge volume of personal information on a wide range of individuals who could effectively masqueraded as the individual. criminals are able to not only have the name, social security identifiers,her and half of the cases, not all but half, the criminals are able to answer questions that only the taxpayer should know.
theor three years ago questions were state-of-the-art. it is not become clear that there is so much information that questions by themselves will not stop those by themselves. we are fighting a major ongoing battle against identity theft and all of the information out there. information about taxpayers is not a pain of the irs. what have you learned about those incidents in regards to authentication barriers? how do you make sure that it is the real taxpayer who's coming to you in getting and giving information?
john: it is the key to being able to move into what we call a future state. giving you an online account and when youecure come in your you and you're not a criminal. what we have done is looked at notnd not terms -- terms of -- how do we develop a state of system.authentication lot of the system you put in place over the last year has made it much easier for us to monitor the attacks and stop.
nonetheless, we still need to be able to deal with criminals who to attack individual accounts. >> i think the taxpayer is hearing that you are sort of battle line -- battling organized crime. can you give them assurance that this season their permission will be secure? that i can't guarantee anyone that nothing will happen, but we have made significant process over the last 2-3 years. data, fighting fraud rcf again. about a year ago i invited the tax of the major
you see patterns of attacks coming from around the world that are identified as suspicious. i think this year will even be protecture and able to passengers better than in the past. the money situation an issue. john: it is a very good thing that we got more money this year. basically, we did not have enough people to answer the phone. more. $294 million increase for us
in six years. we have given a detailed spending plan to the congress 178 million will be used to improve taxpayer service. responseillion was in and request to $700 billion. we're making good progress thanks to the good funding, but request we would like to get were in 2000.they level thisach that year, but we will be better this year than last. >> what do you say to taxpayers and tax preparers are frustrated
and not able to get anyone on the phone. having to sit on the phone. justify and heidi defense their inability to get through to people. john: we spent a lot of time on preparers. -- people who care most about taxpayers turn out to be the irs employees. when you have to stay online for a lengthy. of time before you get in, they are troubled by that. forward, i think people understand that the level destineder service is
on how many people do we have answering the phone? did withhe thing we the money is higher a thousand people more than what we had before. if it is going to take this year, we're going to need more resources. getmately, people need to hold of the irs on the phone and there have to be people on the other end of the phone. gears, the irs .ecently unveiled a tax budget there have been folks in financial form who say you guys basically caved because of the irs scandal. what is your response to that? you anycan't tell
details and that one and particular, but as a general matter we have been sensitive to concerns about people who .pplied we have taken all of the ie jeez recommendations. everyone deserves to be treated fairly no matter the are. the matter their political views. while the inspector general suggested that the criteria are unclear and that we should improve and clarify the regulation. we are still operating under the old regulation. congress has made a decision that we should no longer do any work.
in the meantime, we continue to be a business. people are applying for positions and we are reviewing and processing those. for conservative groups, liberal groups, those right in the middle. they all deserve to be treated quickly and fairly. is thatf the criticisms the group got little attention from the irs. you takeattention do part in the tax-exempt and service. john: i can't tell you what the predecessors did. all i can tell you is that in a port in part not only deals with welfare.ere for our --
governmental entities, tribal governments, all are handled by that group. it is easy to say we don't collect a lot of money from offergroups, but we public service. and auditing to making sure people do what they said they are doing. i meet with a leadership group .t least once a month i think it is important not only for the senior leadership of the isanization to be alone with important that information and -- lems
every employee at the front line. every manager has to feel like it is part of their responsibility to let us know things are not going well. if someone has made a mistake or not doing well, we need to know about it. problemeople the only we cannot solve it is a problem we do not know about. to the extent that we can encourage employees at all levels throughout the authorization, we still have 85,000 employees. all of them need to become tubal that if they see something that is not going well or they have a suggestion for how things could be better. we need to hear about it. -- the "we"udes includes everything from the people who are auditing it only to the commissioner. john: what is the process for
deciding who gets audited? most are selected automatically. we have filters that would questions about returns. if you hear from us, it is about some question in your turn. there may be information you have not included. i would stress because it is something in that return. and theidual organization can select a return or the review. it has to come out of the normal return. we encourage whistleblowers to let us know. even those referrals are viewed by more than one employee. i think it is important for taxpayers to be comfortable that
it is a fair process. oj found no examples of a problem, but they had examples where we could ensure the controls are better operated. >> so no concern that there could be biased and how audits are chosen? john: anyone that has a recommendation to make sure that as i happen, we are delighted to implement it. if you can hear about us from something in return, someone else had the same thing. the system is objective and fair. -- it is possible
there are documents missing from donald trump's taxes year after year and that is why he is being audited? that youwould be rare would make the same mistake every year. usually if there is an issue on . regular basis either we would agree with you or you would agree with us. for some taxpayers who have a .omplicated situation for the average taxpayer, most do not hear from us at all. it was the and a creamy their audited someone to be year-end and you're out. >> three more questions. you feel like you did
anything wrong to upset that relationship? john: we try to be as transparent as possible. we have cooperated with all of the investigations. we have six investigations going on. spent 2.5e department years looking at it. overinance committee spent two years looking at it. they had all of the information they needed to come to closure.
we have gone out of her way to reach out to the hill, whether by letter, hearing, or by phone. >> you have spent your entire career in and outside of the government. most people get a call or maybe they don't when they file a return. what do people not understand or appreciate that you have learned since you've been there? john: i'm delighted and at how much we help taxpayers. anyone't have to hire from late-night tv to work with us on your situation. we have an amazing dedicated
workforce. you would think in the tech service area, what kind of call service with abby? the? -- that bne? while service last year was at a satisfactione level was at 80%. that means that a percent who had dealt with an irs employee that like they had been treated appropriately and gotten the information they needed. i've worked for 45 years in the private sector in this is as dedicated and skilled a
workforce that i have ever dealed with. >> do you think the last two years have left a long-term same? in fact -- john: taxpayers think the system is not fair. that somehow they are being singled out. we will do over one million individual audits this year. people have to understand that something in their return. it is not because they are democrat or republican or a speech that they gave. the vast majority of the $3.3 trillion is provided voluntarily and we need to reassure the public that we take
responsibility seriously. i think the proof will be in the pudding. the 87% of people who got treated for really i hope that .ill ripple through the economy once a while we may disagree with them, but it is a fair system. -- of the rich people can no longer get and with hiding their taxes the irs is chasing people whether they are rich or not to make sure everyone pay their
fair share. >> americans have concerns about people going overseas to avoid paying taxes. what can you tell americans about that? >> there is a major discussion going on and the presidential campaign about the competitions of corporate tax system. the changes in that system are really policy issues. they are not something the irs can be directly concerned with. ultima, it is decided by congress. we tried to provide support technically. if someone wants to change part of the code. we give them advice on how easier it would be to administer.
our job is when they complete those discussions to do the best job. >> irs commissioner john koskinen, thank you for feeling our questions. we are back with our porters from the walser trainer -- wall street journal and politico. he said it is rare for it to happen without speaker living -- without speaking specifically about donald trump. people can go out there and make claims and the commissioner by law cannot explain. if he had told us that trump is or is not being audited, that
could be a felony. he is really limited in what he can do. there might be things wrong with their taxes, but they cannot show you the proof of that. it has proven difficult for the irs. >> donald trump beating into the seine that people have for the irs and tax collection. >> it is never going to be the most popular agency around town. it was unusual for people to be audited multiple times in a row. i think he was trying to get out there is aidea that
personal enemy of the president or a certain religion that we do not like then we're going to go after you. he was trying to push that out as heart -- hard as he can. the irs from the commissioners point of view, we would not target you for an audit because of that. that is what he said. their mobile will people that have to approve any audit. if anything, the irs is not tough enough on christian pastors and churches. the idea that they are going after people because they're christians is not a claim i've heard often >>. >>the other issue we talked about is money for the irs.
irs got more money from a republican-controlled congress. how does that happen? >> i think is things got so that they cannot pay attention anymore. if that does not scare the taxpayer, then i am not sure what else is. call the iris, chances are they would not answer. if you did get through, you would sit on hold for 30 minutes. werenk the lawmakers trying to figure out how to deal with the irs. the other way to deal with it was given more money. >> what do they do so they could protect the taxpayers from the cyber threats. $290 billionnother
they are trying to protect .axpayer information i think there is real distrust between taxpayers and caucus. biggeras part of a budget deal. the animosity is still there, much more so than three years ago. it was a real serious and containing risk. you to reporting from i'm sure. thank you for being part of the newsmakers conversation. today, republican
presidential candidate donald rallyspeaks to a campaign in madison, alabama. people to we best get pay attention to wasteful spending? the government is so large an has to cut through the noise and a lot of the other things going on. and try to get people more involved and more personal so that they understand the impact on them and their families and their children. >> tonight on q and a, thomas shaft, talks about his organization's efforts to bring .ttention to federal spending
we worked with a bipartisan coalition of members of congress, which was then called coalition.essers it eventually became the term your marks -- earmarks. find year that we can earmarks we release a congressional book every may. >> tonight on c-span's q and a. >> on thursday, senior intelligence commercials -- officials testified. witnesses included john clapper, .ohn brennan, and james comey
>> the committee will come to order. i would like to welcome our witnesses. brennan,pper, john ,ames comey, richard leggett rasmussenrt, and nick . thank you all for being here. i recognize the challenges associated with discussing national security issues and public but i hope you understand that this is important expanding to the american people the threats we face and helene the efforts of the men and women in the intelligence community. director clapper, this is your
last hearing with this committee. i would like to thank you for your 55 years of service. director clapper, i was concerned -- i recall your concerned. i share your assessment of the current threat environment. highest faces the 9/11t level since the attacks. al qaeda, isis, and other terror groups are rapidly expanding. without u.s. leadership, this trend will continue. we have discussed syria and iraq with you at link. i believe the u.s. response to those complex