Neal Cancels Hearing After Mnuchin Declines Invite
Ways and Means Democrats are concerned about the IRS’ readiness for tax season
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) canceled today’s scheduled hearing on the impact of the partial government shutdown on the upcoming tax filing season after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declined to testify.
Ways and Means Democrats are concerned about the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) readiness for tax season given reports that the agency plans to have about 57 percent of employees on the job processing refunds without pay. Many of these IRS employees have applied for hardship leave because they cannot afford expenses associated with returning to work, such as child care and gas.
Neal said the seriousness of the situation just days before taxpayers start filing returns warranted Mnuchin’s appearance.
“The secretary declined to come speak with us, so I am canceling the hearing,” Neal said. “With tax filing season beginning in five days and the timely issuing of taxpayer refunds at stake, we need to hear directly from the secretary to gain greater clarity regarding the IRS’ capabilities during the shutdown.”
Mnuchin spoke with Neal yesterday and said he offered to send senior Treasury officials to brief Ways and Means members on the IRS contingency plan and the impact of the shutdown on IRS operations but that was not accepted.
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