The Senate and the House disagree on IRS funding. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)
The House and Senate have a fundamental disagreement on funding for the Internal Revenue Service.
The IRS would receive a $236 million funding boost under legislation approved by the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on financial services June 24.
The bill provides $11.5 billion for the agency — $236 million more than it received in 2014 — but $950 million less than what the agency requested. The funding will help the agency boost its tax collection and pursue tax evaders, according to the subcommittee.
“The IRS needs resources to provide timely responses to millions of taxpayers who seek assistance, acquire better tools to identify unreported income, pursue tax cheats, execute ever-expanding responsibilities under the tax code and improve collection rates to narrow the tax gap,” reads a subcommittee statement.
But the Senate bill is at odds with legislation passed by the House Appropriations subcommittee on financial services June 17, which slashed IRS funding to its lowest levels in more than 5 years.
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The House bill would cut the IRS budget by $341 million — to $10.95 billion for fiscal 2015 — and about $1.5 billion below President Obama’s request. The IRS has seen its budget cut several times over the last few years.
The legislation would also prohibit bonuses or awards for employees identified with conduct issues or who have fallen behind on their taxes. The agency would also be unable to use funds to produce “inappropriate videos and conferences.”
The IRS spent $4.1 million on a 2010 conference in Anaheim, California and spent at least $50,000 to produce a Star Trek parody video.